Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bring on the Apples

We have a family tradition of holding taste tests.  Sometimes we'll go for junk food and sample half a dozen different kinds of chocolate or perhaps vanilla ice cream (the best flavor, by the way) but sometimes we'll exert ourselves to be a little healthier and we'll nibble our way through fruits and veggies.

With all the fall produce on sale, I bought one of every kind of apple I could find and we sliced them up and each tried a slice to determine which apples were the best tasting. Out of Braeburn, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Gala and Fuji we were fairly unified on preferring the Honeycrisp, which received the highest marks overall.  It ranked #1 more often than any other apple though Jazz (which was my personal favorite) was a consistent #1-#2 as well right behind it. Since Honeycrisp are typically the most expensive apple out there I've been happy to get Jazz apples instead for nearly the same taste but with a huge difference in price.

David was the only dissenting opinion on the court, preferring Granny Smith over everything else. He's odd that way. Tart is his thing and I love him nonetheless.

I noticed a nice run-down of apples at Epicurious for a few other varieties that we didn't try.  The only apples that consistently scored low were Red and Golden Delicious. There's irony for you.  Talk about your misnomer.

We've been trying cheeses, one per week, and having fun expanding our gastronomical horizons. So far we've had Beemster, St. Claire and Mahon (at least those are the ones I can remember names for).  Pickles would be fun to test, or olives and mushrooms (though I doubt I could get my non-olive eating family to go for that one).  Any other ideas? I'm very open for anything.

And besides our taste-testing adventures here are a few fun links I've noticed lately:

Big Red Kitchen had a recipe for Garlic Ranch Pretzels. Every word in that title excites my family.

I just bought a new purse from Adeleshop on Etsy and absolutley love it.  She has such pretty, simple designs and I wish this bag weren't already sold out.  She has great sales from time to time too.

Ribbonesia is one of those sites where I say, "That's cute." then do absolutely nothing about it. I don't know that it will inspire you to make hundreds of ribbon creatures but still . . . they're cute, no?

And this . . . this is the ultimate in card-making magic. I can say no more.


hoopty doopty said...

Oh My Goodness! I loved that never ending card. How neat is that? I'm thinking I might have to try that today in fact!
It's morning here in Australia and I wish I could try one of those Honeycrisp apples. It made me hungry for one reading this. Sounds so yummy. We have several different varieties here but I've never heard of Honeycrisp. Not that I'm an apple connoisseur. I always buy Fuji and have never like red, blech!
Enjoyed that post.

Scribbit said...

They're really sweet and crisp. Kind of like the name implies :)

I'm so quick with these things apparently. That's why I don't like the Delicious ones--they're sometimes mushy and not nearly so flavorful.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Honeycrisp are our favorites! At the orchard here, they are the first to go, like you have to show up to the orchard on opening day to pick any or else they are GONE!


Anonymous said...

I love that you do taste tests! We have done some of that in my family too: for instance, 3 kinds of tomatoes from our garden; chocolate that was given to us by a friend in Finland.

NotaSupermom said...

What a great idea. I think we'll do this with chocolate.

Annie said...

I've never seen the never ending card, it's really neat!

We love Gravenstein apples, which make a GREAT applesauce, because they are grown in Sonoma Co., CA where we are originally from.

Krista said...

I like galas and fujis. Amazingly enough had some pretty good Red Delicious the other day (got them fresh of the orchardists truck as he stopped at our post office!) and they weren't as bad as I remembered them!
I like honeycrisp too, but like you said, they're too expensive. At the local fruit warehouse store (yes, I know, I live in the best place in the world for apples!) they have a new variety called SweeTango. I first saw it last summer and they are soooo good! I need to get up there (other side of town now from where we live) and get some from this year!
I've never heard of Jazz... need to look into that too!

Anonymous said...

I think I might try the taste tests as a way to get my kids to try new things......


cndymkr / jean said...

That card video was amazing. She made it seem so simple!

I suggest you do the chocolate taste test next. I'd be interested to see what the kids prefer.

Daisy said...

I like to bring honeycrisp apples in my lunch during the fall apple season. Delicious apples have become so inbred that they're not even delicious anymore. Their genetics were engineered all toward appearance and shape, and the taste suffered.

Patricia L said...

Uhm. That card is AWESOME. Now for the taste-testing... My son preferred Granny Smith during his class's taste test. I've heard good things about the honey crisp. I may have to splurge one of these days. My goodness you could taste test all sorts of things... avocados (have you tried the slimcados?), Lettuces (if you're salad people-- which, recalling your recipes, I think you are). If you want to go for "junk"-- doughnuts (we did this recently and it was a big hit-- although we didn't have a clear winner).

The Marketing Mama said...

Love your idea to try all the different apples - and one new cheese each week? Brilliant. You always have such great ideas... which is why you have such a great blog. :)

Hope you are having a great weekend!

JIm said...

Wow, nice idea..thanks for sharing

J at said...

My favorite cheese is Humboldt Fog. I swear, there are no illegal substances involved. ;) Truly yummy, but kinda spendy.