A is for Apple


Orchard season in Minnesota
By Maka Boeve

From Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden to Snow White’s poison fruit, apples have always been part of common folklore. Apples are mentioned in nursery rhymes. They are symbolic of teachers and back-to-school. They were used in science to prove gravity, and now people are talking into Apple phones. Apples are everywhere!

As the air gets cooler, a fun fall family activity is visiting one of Southeastern Minnesota’s numerous apple orchards. What is more romantic than a picnic under a beautiful apple tree? What is more enjoyable than the quiet solitude of a visit to nature’s fruit stand? Plus enjoying the homemade applesauce or caramel apples is a delicious reward.

SO MANY VARIETIES

Johnny Appleseed reportedly flicked all different types from Cortlands to Braeburns to Crispins. Pink Ladies and McIntoshes also are known to make a few Cameos. Some like Fuji are super sweet, while others like Goldens can be a little mushy. Sometimes Granny Smith’s tart bite is just the thing to counter all that sappy Ambrosia. Then again, a salad of Jazz and Gala slices can be quite a party. What is it about apples that turn everyone all saucy?

According to the U.S. Apple Association, “More than 100 apple varieties are grown commercially in the United States, but a total of 15 popular varieties account for almost 90% of production.”

Red Delicious are the most popular and are found in lunchboxes and briefcases every day. The BIG Apple of New York must be bursting with Empires. Around these parts, it is those smart University of Minnesota college-educated Honeycrisps that are all the rage.

AN APPLE A DAY

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Most apples have around 100 calories. They are full of fiber to help the GI tract but also beneficial with normalizing blood sugars and impacting lipids. However, a little-known fact is that apple seeds are actually poisonous. They contain cyanogenic glycosides, although according to healthline.com, “About 200 seeds or 20 cores” would need to be consumed to be fatal.

Baking recipes can be rather specific regarding the type of apples to use for flavor and consistency. Some tips for keeping apples fresh are storing them in the refrigerator crisper or wrapping them individually in unprinted newspaper and placing them in a cool cellar or garage. Boiling apples in lemon water also keeps slices from turning brown. Remember to check for bruises often and watch out for those rotten apples!

Whether made into a tart, popover, muffin or sweet bread, apples have wormed their way into being America’s number-one fruit. Plus, for a slice of classic Americana, apple pie takes the cake.

So how do you like them apples?!

LOCAL APPLE ORCHARDS

Blossom Hill Orchard & Farm
645 Highway 52
Preston, Minnesota
507-765-4486
facebook.com/blossomhillorchardandfarm

Pepin Heights Orchard
1753 South Highway 61
Lake City, Minnesota
800-652-3779
pepinheights.com

Hoch Orchard and Gardens
32553 Forster Road
LaCrescent, Minnesota
507-643-6329
hochorchard.com

Northwoods Apple Orchard
8018 75th Avenue NW
Oronoco, Minnesota
507-280-059
facebook.com/northwoodsappleorchard

Sekapp Orchard
3415 College View Road East
Rochester, Minnesota
507-282-4544
sekapporchard.com

Southwind Orchards
45440 County Road 12
Dakota, Minnesota
507-643-6255
southwindorchards.com

Trumps Orchard
1020 Saint Paul Avenue
Faribault, Minnesota
507-334-5157
trumpsorchard.com

Turkey Hill Orchard
9912 County Road 5 NW
Pine Island, Minnesota
507-356-4067
facebook.com/turkeyhillorchard

Wescott Orchards
28085 County Road 25
Elgin, Minnesota
507-876-2891
wescottorchard.com