I share your pain about the windfalls - but a worse pain is finding a wasp in the windfall I've just picked up.
I have a huge bowl of windfalls on my table at this moment. The secret seems to be to go out while it's still thick jumper temperature, before it's warm enough for the wasps.
But wasn't Eve's fruit just that - fruit unspecified?
Actually I think you're right about Eve's fruit. It's simply that in Western European tradition it's always been an apple.
Adam lay ybounden,
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter
Thought he not too long.
And all was for an apple,
An apple that he took,
As clerkès finden
Written in their book.
Ne had the apple taken been,
The apple taken been,
Ne had never our lady
Abeen heavenè queen.
Blessèd be the time
That apple taken was,
Therefore we moun singen,
You and Ailz must come visit me during apple harvest time. I live in one of the best "apple areas" of the U.S., the Lake Ontario Valley (well, actually, I live close). I'm very picky about my apples, and won't eat the cold storage ones so during this time of the year I eat LOTS of apples.
If you weren't across the ocean, I'd find a way to send you some.
That would be nice.
I spent part of my childhood in Kent- "the garden of England"- where the main crops are hops and apples.
Over here sharp tart green apples are very hard to come by. It's all big fat frumpy red apples, soft and floury. I don't like 'em.
Soft and floury- yuk. Do they grow apples in Japan are they all imported?
Beautifully written, Tony. Very evocative.
When I lived in Michigan in the early 1980s, there was an old couple at Farmers Market who sold "antique" varieties of apples from their orchard, including one called "Arkansas Black." Those were small, very dark (hence the "black"), hard, and very tart, and I just couldn't get enough of them! When I moved to Seattle and came back to visit, I filled my suitcase with them... Later my parents had a tree of Arkansas Blacks and sent me a box, but they weren't the same -- I think the variety had been messed with to make the apples big -- they were pretty but not as tasty. I haven't had a "real" Arkansas Black since.
I have some good apples from Whole Foods right now -- Empires. Hard and tart.
It's sad that there are so few varieties of apple for sale today. We're told that supermarket customers will only buy fruit that conforms to a platonic ideal- all rosy and waxy and not too big and not too small.
The variety growing on my pa-in-law's tree (I I forget the name) are not of a kind you'll find in the shops. I guess it devolves on the private gardener to keep the uncommercial breeds alive.
That's great. I'm glad there are businesses like this keeping the "old" apples alive.
Fuji, honeycrisp, and southern rose for me! A gala is ok in a pinch, butsits on the edge of too mealy for me.
Granny Smith for carmel!
I haven't cooked much with apples, though.
I make a lot of apple sauce- apples, orange juice, a little sugar all boiled up together. It's my favourite accompaniment for a pork roast.
I love pomegranates in winter, but apples are my fruit for this season: they are one of the smells and tastes of autumn. If I ever (somehow) live somewhere I can't get apples, fall won't feel right.
Pomegranates are still sort of exotic over here. We had one on our altar once. It went hard and dry and lasted for years.
Pomegranates are still sort of exotic over here.
I think they are here, too. I just buy them anyway.
and if you cut an apple in half horizontally you get a pentacle shape made out of the core... must check that tonight experimentally.
Yes, it works. I've just done it.
We are avid fruit growers here in our bit of garden but have no apples because the climate in southern Spain won´t do for them. I miss them. My father had apple trees and when I was growing up in Michigan I was in charge of picking the best windfall apples off the ground.
Here we have plums, oranges, almonds, pears (oddly, they grow here albeit grudgingly),"messy" pomegranates, persimmons, loquats and necatrines in our yard. I don´t use pesticides. I love picking fruit from a tree and NOT seeing a waxy covering on it like you see in the supermarkets.
What a beautiful post! Thank you, Tony.
That's not a bad line-up of fruits. I'd love to be able to pick oranges straight from the tree.
I love apples, but oranges are my favourite.
We only have a few citrus trees in the yard but we have friends who have orchards and they bring us crates of naval oranges every Christmas (harvest time). Oranges picked the day you get them...there is nothing in the world like that.
I can imagine.
Buying oranges over here is very hit and miss. You don't know until you get stuck in whether you've got good batch or not. And price is no guarantee either. I've had cheap oranges that were lovely and expensive ones that were dry and tough.
what a lovely entry.
i don't agree, though, about the pomegranates. i find them to have a slightly magical quality about them, all those rubies hidden inside...
You have a point.
Pomegranates are still pretty exotic over here. I could probably count the ones I've eaten on the fingers of one hand.
There's a lovely, ancient apple tree on my parent's farm that I just adore. The fruit are sort of striped yellow and red, squat like fat doughnuts. The flesh is crisp and the flavor is a perfect balance of sweet and tart. Alas, a late freeze robbed us of all fruit this season, something we were lamenting just yesterday while walking under its boughs.
I like pomegranates, though. There was a tree in the back garden, last place I lived in northern California. It was something so foreign to my experience I didn't even know what it was until someone told me. When they ripen fully on the tree, they tend to split open in a most suggestive manner and one can break them apart in pieces and eat them easily with bear hands. Lovely, sensuous things, messy too, but the ones I've bought since in the market were a profound disappointment.
That's a shame about the apples.
Pomegranates are still fairly rare over here. I've only ever had them from the shops. I love the idea of being able to pick them off the tree.
Pomegranates are mythic. Persephone was trapped for half the year because she swallowed the pomegranate seeds; they're associated with death, the afterlife, and secrets.
So are apples, really--Arthur's going to an apple-island ties back in.
You're right, of course.
If I slight the pomegranate it's because it's still an exotic fruit over here.
This post hums nicely in my head.