|Stayman Winesap apple|
Apples are another thing altogether. There are a few orchards that grow good apples but most of the apples here are too sweet for my taste and don't have the snap I look for in a good fresh apple. The season also seems to be compressed for the apples I prefer. Cider, often made from apples that have fallen to the ground, is illegal to make in Santa Barbara county. So, the things I yearn for in the fall are difficult to find.
Today, I heard an interview on NPR about apples. I think I heard the interviewee say that there are some 15000 varieties of apples! However many there are, Cheryl and I have found an orchard that we like to visit - Gopher Glen Orchards. They grow some 50 different varieties of apples including some we know and love from the northeast like Stayman Winesaps. And, because they are in a different county, they're allowed to make and sell real cider. It is about a 60 mile drive from our house and travel costs make the apples and cider ridiculously expensive... but they are APPLES and it is REAL CIDER and that means fall.
So we bought some cider and some Spitzenberg apples, reportedly Thomas Jefferson's favorite variety... and they are good!