Weekend of October 15, 2016
First of all, for those of you that have been waiting and waiting…we have just picked our Esopus Spitzenberg apples!
The Esopus Spitzenberg is one of the most asked-after apples that we grow, and it seems to be loved by all kinds of palates. An antique variety, this apple was discovered near Esopus, New York, in the early 1800’s. It is known to be one of four of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apples in his orchard at Monticello. For hard cider, Jefferson planted the Hewe’s Crab (which we grow at Montgomery Place) and the Taliaferro, a mysterious apple which we will never taste, as it is a lost variety. But for dessert apples, Jefferson considered the Esopus Spitzenberg to be one of the finest, and he planted it in large numbers, alongside his other favorite, the Newtown Pippin.
One taste of the Esopus Spitzenberg and you will understand why. This medium-sized apple has a beautiful dark red and a matte-finish spotted skin, with a bit of green showing through, and it feels a little weighty in your hand. When first picked, the flesh is intensely flavored and tart, and breaks with a sharp crispness and quite a bit of juice. Even though right off the tree it has a very sour and green taste, which pleases those of you that like that sort of thing, if you allow it to store for a month or two, it mellows into the most incredible sugary and caramel-like sweetness. It’s quite an apple, we think, and with its very high sugar content contrasted with its high acidity, it seems to push the edge of flavor to the absolute limits of both sweet and tart. It is an excellent choice for long-term storage (because it only gets better with time), it can present as total perfection in hard cider, and it also makes an excellent pie. What can’t this apple do…? If you haven’t tasted one, you must come by this weekend and try one! The Esopus Spitzenberg tends to bear biennially (meaning that we get a very nice crop every other year), and this year we seem to have lucked out, so we should have them at least through this coming week.
Here is a list of varieties that we will have at our market for this weekend:
Also at our market this weekend:
Hearty Roots Farm: Beets, Carrots, Turnips, Kale and Swiss Chard
Whistledown Farm: Potatoes, yellow and red Onions
Sky Farm Salad Greens
BARD FARM Cranberries!!!
Mead Orchards winter squash: Butternut, Acorn, Delicata, Green and Sunshine Kabocha, Bora Bora
LOTS of Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins and sugar pumpkins for pie!
Hope to see you all soon!