Taste of Fall: Honeycrisp Apples

Photo Source:  Three Springs Farms
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" or so goes the old adage.  I have to admit that growing up I never ate a lot of apples.  I've never been a fan of the apples with mealier textures, but thankfully, along came the Honeycrisp apple.  They are tart, sweet with a tang, and best of all crunchy and not mealy at all, especially when they are in season.  Luckily for us, that season is now.  I make a point to buy honeycrisp apples every week at my local farmers market.  They are bit more expensive than other common apple varieties, but once you've tried them, you'll realize that Red Delicious is nothing in comparison.

A brief history of Honeycrisp apples:

The 'Honeycrisp' cultivar of the apple (Malus domestica) was developed first in seventies, but not released until 1991 after almost being thrown on the compost pile.  Thankfully, it has become one of the most popular and sought-after apple varieties on the market fetching slightly high prices than many other common apple varieties.  It developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station's Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota.  The parents of the 'Honeycrisp' variety are unknown, but genetic testing has indicated that 'Keepsake' may well be one of the parents.  It's popularity in the US has soared and many programs are in place to convert failing orchards to growing this new extremely popular variety.  There are even plans underway in New Zealand to start growing Honeycrisps in the southern hemisphere to supply American consumers in the off-season.  That would be great news to my ears!

Now, I'd like to make a plug for my favorite local Honeycrisp apple farm.  Three Springs Farms near Gettysburg, PA sells top quality apples at several local farmers markets.  I make a point to visit them every week to stock up.  They are also my favorite source for local peaches and various vegetables and some delicious apple, pear, and peach butters!  You can even order some Honeycrisp apples directly from them on their website!

Now, go out and find some locally and sustainably grown Honeycrisp apples of your own and enjoy them while they are still in season!