Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eat Seasonal. Eat Local.

Certain foods are best eaten fresh.  The best way to eat food that tastes the best (and is most nutritious) is to eat foods that are local and in season.  In Mid-Michigan, this means that tomatoes are best in late summer and early fall when they are ripe locally.  Strawberries are best when they are fresh picked in June.

Right now is apple season.  An apple can be stored for 16 months (but that doesn't mean they should be).  A stored apple loses its flavor, dries out, and becomes "mealy".  Fresh, local apples can be found in Mid-Michigan from late-July through late-October.  They are fresh, juicy, crisp, and perfect.

Go to the store and get some apples.

Better yet.  Go to the farmers market.

Even better, visit the orchard and pick some up.

Best of all, pick your own.  It's too late to plant apple trees now, but if you plant them in the Spring you can be enjoying your own apples within two year.

Try a variety that you are not familiar with.  There are so many apple varieties beyond Red Delicious, Macintosh, and Honey Crisp.  I like Braeburn, Matsu, Pink Lady, and Ginger Gold.

My favorite apples are from trees that I find growing along roadsides or in the woods.  Trees that were self-seeded or planted in orchards long ago and then abandoned.  The best apples that I have ever eaten were from an abandoned farm near Sleeping Bear Dunes.  My second favorite apples grow on a tree in a local park.  I don't have any idea what kind they are, but they are crisp, sweet and tart, and juicy.

Apples on a tree in an abandoned orchard in Sleeping Bear Dunes - my favorite apples of all time

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