As a new resident of the Emerald City, I experienced one of the city's farmers markets. Last Saturday, the University District Farmers Market celebrated one of Washington's most famous and sought-after farm products: Apples. During this AppleLooza, visitors could taste numerous varieties, try cider and attend cooking demos featuring recipes with apples, of course. They could also sample over 15 varieties of unique, local heirloom apples and vote for their favorite.
My knowledge about apple selection extends to the Orange Red, Golden Delicious and Jonagold. During the AppleLooza celebration, I had to taste forty different varieties that included amongst others the following: Winter Banana, Pirus (best for cooking apparently), Black Gilflower, King David, Spigold, Honey Gold, Hawkeye (a Red Delicious heirloom), Pink Pearl, Blue Permain, Belle de Boskoop, Kidd’s Orange Red, Golden Delicious, Ruby Jon, Jonagold and Snow Sweet.
As I am not an expert in this field, I just indulged in the "tasting" and enjoyed the entire process. Some were crunchy, others had more flavor, going from sour to sweet, from green to yellow to red. My favorite? Sweet Sixteen: a sweet apple but with a nice acidity, full complexity and texture.
Disappointed at my ignorance, I left the market intrigued and I promise that I will immerse in this fascinating apple's world. Washington State will provide everything I need. Sweet Sixteen included.