The humble apple, the hero of folk tales and puddings, is also the king of fruit bowls – it’s portable, durable, and delicious. You know what you can eat if you don’t want to visit your doctor too often this year.
Apples? What makes them unique or seasonal? You can buy them at any time!
Oh, yes. But not British ones. Apples are a fruit bowl staple, but they have many more uses than you might think.
Over 2,300 varieties of fruit and vegetables are grown in Britain. They range from fresh, light, berry-scented fruits to spicy, late-season ones.
There are more heritage varieties than ever available in supermarkets and farmers’ markets, as well as in decent greengrocers and farm shops. Apples are at their peak right now, so choose wisely. The second half of the season, from August to December, is ideal for them.
Apples come in two varieties – for eating and for cooking. Woe to the poor sprat that mistakenly thinks the latter is the former. The sweetest apples are those that you eat. They also have the best taste, as they combine sugar and acidity. Granny Smiths, Golden Delicious, and Cox’s Orange Pippins are all excellent choices. They are delicious right off the tree. Crunchy and wet. But they also hold their shape well enough to be used in certain types of cooking. Many countries do not believe in cooking apples, so they have developed a variety of recipes using old-fashioned eating varieties, such as the tart tatin or other continental pastries.
The Bramley apple is a British classic. The apples are incredibly sour and require you to add sugar while cooking.
What can you do with them? Apple pairs well with meat, especially pork, bacon, sausages, and eggs. It also goes great with muesli, pancakes, nuts, or cheese. It’s also great in salads, with red cabbage, or struggled.
Apples have been eaten for centuries, first in Central Asia, where a wild variety still thrives in northern Afghanistan. It’s the only ancestor to the domestic apples we enjoy. Then in Turkey and throughout Europe.
It’s still being determined when the Brits became interested in them, but they appear in many myths, including Greek, Norse, and Christian ones, so it is safe to say that it has been a long time. The Norse believed that eating apples gave gods fertility and eternal youth. Frigg’s crow sends a messenger to deliver an apple in one tale. It falls in the laps of a couple eager to have a baby. The wife eats the apple and has a six-year pregnancy.
In Greek and Christian mythology, apples are a forbidden fruit. They’re either in the Garden of Eden or the prize for Hercules. The Trojan War was indirectly caused by three silly goddesses fighting over a golden apple.
In fairytales, they are everywhere. Firebirds steal the king’s apples, the evil queen poisons Snow White using one, and Twilight, the epic failure (not a fairytale but close enough), is rife with apple imagery.
A cherry or an almond could have easily tempted Eve. Genesis doesn’t specify.
Some orchards will allow you to pick your apples. Picking apples is easy if you cup them in your hands and twist just a little. If the stalk easily comes off the tree, that’s what you want. As with everything else, the key to a firm is the unblemished complexion.
The majority of commercial fruit is harvested too early and under-ripe. It’s then stored in an airy environment with high carbon dioxide levels to prolong its shelf life, which can last six months. Sometimes an imported apple will have wax applied to the exterior to make it look fresh. Apples are generally safe, but there may be a few exceptions.
Crab with Celery and Apple
BY MITCH TONKS
Mitch says a crisp, fresh apple adds a sweet, juicy flavor. “I prefer an apple that is more acidic and tart, like the Granny Smith. I like something with more of a punch than red varieties like Gala. This dish looks great with its white flesh and bright green skin. Celeriac is not a pretty vegetable but has a tremendous peppery crunch. It also tastes good raw. It is also full of good stuff like vitamin C and antioxidants.
This recipe is a great way to transition from summer into autumn. It uses only white crab meat.
75g celeriac cut into matchstick-size pieces
Half a Granny Smith, or something similar, thinly sliced on a mandolin
Radishes 2 finely sliced
1 tbsp of chervil
White crab meat 160g
Two tablespoons of olive oil
One lemon juice
Two slices of rye (or sourdough).
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1. Place the celeriac in a bowl and add the apple, radish, herbs, and crab meat.
2. Dress the dish with olive oil, and squeeze in some lemon juice. Add salt and pepper.
3. Remove the salad from the bowl with one hand and let it naturally fall into a neat heap on the plate. Serve the bread and mayo on the side.