Believe it or not, Fall is almost here!
With Fall comes lots of cool nights, hayrides and, our favorite…apple picking! Want to impress your friends and family the next time you go apple picking or visit a pick-your-own? Scroll below to learn how to pick the best, tastiest apples on the orchard!
How Firm is the Apple? Hold the apple in the palm of your hand and with your thumb and index finger, press it gently. Don’t press too hard or you might damage or bruise the apple. If the apple feels firm and juicy, then this is a great apple to take home! If the apple is noticeably mushy or soft, it’d probably be best to not pick this one; apples like this one won’t last very long. Be sure to check the firmness of the apple in a few spots by doing the index finger and thumb technique.
What’s on the Apple? It’s always a great idea to visibly examine the apple that you plan on picking and taking home with you. If the apple has some minor cuts or hail damage, that is perfectly okay! (Sometimes, those are the ones with the best flavor) The majority of apples that are grown in New York experience all of the different kinds of weather systems because they endure the cold and the hot months which means snow, rain, hail, frost and everything in between. Some apples might have some marks on them from this and that is absolutely normal. But, if the apple has apparent bruising and large open cuts or gashes on it, then it’s probably best to leave that one behind.
What Does the Color of the Apple Look Like? For the most part, apples are supposed to be red, with the exception of the obvious “non-red” varieties (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, etc.) But, if you know you are in a section with Gala trees and you are seeing a majority of green apples, chances are these apples are not ripe enough to be picked yet. Most red varieties have a green background on the skin, so look for apples that are mostly red and covering the majority of that green backdrop. Not every apple is going to achieve 100% coloring, but the ones that come close to achieving this have the best flavor. Apples that receive the most sunlight typically harbor the most flavor and achieve a nice, rich color.
When Did the Apples Bloom? This may seem silly to the average person, but to farmers, this is one of the most important aspects to apple picking and harvesting! Counting the days from when the apple tree bloomed is the most accurate way to tell if the apple is ripe and ready to be picked. Each apple variety has its own specific number of days that it takes to ripen, which may change a few days here and there due to weather, but for the most part, this is the best way to tell.
How Does the Apple Smell? This might also be another silly method, but, it works! If you bring the apple to your nose and take a big whiff, it should have a pleasing fragrance. If the apple smells bad or gross, it probably isn’t a good idea to take that one home with you.
Now that you know how to pick the best apple… make something yummy with it! Check out all of our mouthwatering recipes under our “Notes from the Farm” page.