Cover image for Apples of uncommon character : 123 heirlooms, modern classics, & little-known wonders
Apples of uncommon character : 123 heirlooms, modern classics, & little-known wonders
Jacobsen, Rowan, author.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, 2014.
Physical Description:
311 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Summer apples -- Dessert apples -- Bakers and saucers -- Keepers -- Cider fruit -- Oddballs -- Recipes -- Glossary.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SB363.3.A1 J33 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
SB363.3.A1 J33 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
SB363.3.A1 J33 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
SB363.3.A1 J33 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Is there life beyond Macintosh or Red Delicious? Yes, says Rowan Jacobsen. And there always has been. Remember that old tree in your neighbors yard? The fallen apples alongside country roads? Well, while the supermarkets had limited their offerings to but a few mealy or waxy options, all those old apple trees kept producing fruit. Apples are unparalleled in their diversity and character, with tree lives that span human generations. With the national embrace of local foods and a bid for more biodiversity, consumers are demanding wider range of apples. And they're out there for the eating, from heirlooms to new designer varieties.
Apples have strong personalities, ranging from crabby to wholesome--something celebrated across America every fall, when farmers' markets, pick-your-own orchards, and progressive markets like Whole Foods overflow with piles of colorful orbs, their skins aswirl in red, orange, yellow, green, black, even purple. As the market finally realizes that Americans like produce with panache and pedigree, it has re-discovered the fruit with ultimate range. The Black Oxford apple looks like a plum. The Knobbed Russet looks like the love child of a toad and a potato. (But don't be fooled by its looks.) The Winter Banana has hints of banana. The D'Arcy Spice has pink freckles and a dash of orange near the stem, and leaves a hint of allspce on the tongue. When Hidden Rose is cut open, its inner pink is revealed.
Now, in full color, with more than 150 photographs, Apples shows us the forbidden fruit in all its glory. After collecting specimens from all over North America, Jacobsen selected 120 to feature in this glorious and important book, each accompanied by an art-quality photograph, description, and listing of characteristics. In addition, Apples features 20 recipes, from savory to sweet, essays on history and lore, resources for buying and growing, and a glossary of terms. It's the book every self-respecting foodie and apple lover will have to have.

Author Notes

Rowan Jacobsen is the James Beard Award-winning author of A Geography of Oysters , Fruitless Fall , The Living Shore, and American Terroir. He has written for the New York Times , Harper's , Outside, Mother Jones, Orion, and others, and his work has been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and Best Food Writing collections. Whether visiting endangered oystermen in Louisiana or cacao-gathering tribes in the Bolivian Amazon, his subject is how to maintain a sense of place in a world of increasing placelessness. He lives in rural Vermont.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

At the close of the twentieth century, few varieties of apples seemed available in American supermarkets. Shoppers had choices among Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious, McIntosh, and perhaps Granny Smith. The foodie revolution has changed all that, and new varieties from all over the world now crowd produce shelves. Who would have imagined a few years ago that browsers in green markets would have to distinguish Fuji from Gala, Cox's Orange Pippin from Cortland, or Winesap from Wealthy? Jacobsen catalogs both familiar and obscure apples, offering details on the variety's history, its salient characteristics, its seasonality, and its culinary uses. Many regional apple varieties have short seasons or limited production, so not every apple can appear in Jacobsen's inventory, but there are plenty to savor. Full-color photographs help with identification. Twenty-plus recipes show off the fruit to best advantage, and there is a formula for the perfect apple pie.--Knoblauch, Mark Copyright 2014 Booklist