Saturday, September 11, 2010

Honeycrisp Apples!

Honeycrisp Apple

Oh my goodness.  I don't even know where to really start with how special these apples are.    They're actually a relatively new breed of apple; they come to us from the University of Minnesota.  According to Wikipedia this breed (originally named MN 1711 in 1974 and released in 1991 as the Honeycrisp) was slated to be discarded!  I just can't imagine this because the Honeycrisp apple to me, and to my son Max, is THE perfect apple: always crisp, with a perfect balance of sweetness, tartness, and pure apple flavor.  The flavor actually reminds me of the apple flavor of the apple Jolly Rancher candy.  How can you go wrong with THAT?
The Honeycrisp season has lasted longer each year since I first discovered it shortly after moving to Iowa.  It used to only be available from September through November; now I can buy them almost through January, when I have to return to the Pink Lady apples or Jazz apples to satisfy Max's picky palate.  
I have to warn you, though, if you've never bought one before, be prepared for what seems to be a ridiculous price: usually around $2.99/pound.  Also, since the seem to be more widely grown these days, you have to be careful about the quality.  I suggest taking note of the brand name on the apple sticker and only buying one if you've never tried that brand before.  If you find that brand to be delicious, you know if they're worth spending the extra money on.  For those in the Des Moines area, the brand with the little brown bear logo is always good, and I find those at HyVee usually.  The price can go down to $0.99/pound on sale, which is when I stock up on them, and they last a long time in the crisper drawer of my fridge.
If your store does not carry Honeycrisp apples, I suggest having a chat with the store manager, or taking your shopping list elsewhere, because these little gems are soooo worth it.

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