Tonawanda News

Features

September 22, 2013

Where, when, how — and why — to pick your own apples in the Niagara region

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

Because of that texture, later apples are better for long storage through the winter — at least, as long as they’re stored correctly.

“People feel like if they pick it off the tree in an orchard, it can just sit out all the time,” Murphy said. “They should go immediately into the refrigerator. An apple at room temperature goes softer four times as quickly as one in the refrigerator.”

Vizcarra agreed.

“People don’t realize how long apples will keep if you keep them in the refrigerator,” she said. “They will keep a couple months in the refrigerator. And the later apples, they will keep six months in the refrigerator. Even if you don’t have a lot of room in your refrigerator, once it gets to be October or so, if you keep them in the garage, someplace outside, they will last all winter.”

A matter of preference

With so many different varieties of apples grown in the area, other common questions growers must field have to do with the best usage for the various types. But it’s really not that simple.

“People say, ‘Is this a good eating apple, or is it for cooking?’ “ Murphy said. “All apples are good eating apples. Only Snow White’s stepmother grew the other kind.

“Some apples are better for cooking, but even that is a preference. Some people like a smooth applesauce, some people like a chunky applesauce.”

Yellow Delicious makes a smoother applesauce, while Rhode Island Greenings make for a chunkier one, she said. Greenings are “the only apple your grandmother would have wanted for a pie,” while Empires are “wonderful for everything.”

The early/late apple consistency factors into this as well, Baker said.

“A lot of the earlier varieties, because they’re soft, don’t hold their shape really well,” she said. “Cortlands hold together, Macs not so much, but they’re good for applesauce. They’re a great apple for applesauce because they’re a little tart, you can sugar them up to your taste, and they’ll mush right down.”

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