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Re: [nafex] Apple quality, Gala

On Tue, 25 Sep 2001 dwoodard@becon.org wrote:

> But I am not sure that things were ever a great deal better in the
> past on average; indeed I have read of Ben Davis apples a century ago
> being shoveled out of boxcars into the buckets of housewives, which
> sounds rather ominous for taste and texture. Possibly in the past
> quality was more variable both for good and ill. But perhaps, given
> what the psychologists tell us about the power of variable interval
> and variable ratio reinforcement, the variable quality of the past
> was effective in getting people to buy fruit.


I am about 1.5 hours northwest of you, in the Woodstock/Kitchener area and
I think fruit had to be better understood as early as 50-60 years ago.

My inlaws are still on the farm and in their mid 70's.  They have a small
farm orchard which might have had 20 standard trees at one time.  Northern
Spy, Mac, Melba, Blenheim Pippin, Yellow Transparent, and Improved Snow.

Having grown up on supermarket apples my tastes in apples are skewed, and
my inlaws never fail to shake their heads when they see me eating an under
ripe apple from the orchard.  I am finding it very difficult to retrain my
pallet to properly ripened, tree picked fruit, but I am getting there.

My inlaws know where the best apple trees are in a 10 mile area, or knew
where the trees used to be.  Even recognising the better tasting trees of
various varieties.

So there are still a lot a rural people who have a good eye and knowledge
of apples, but they are a dying breed.

I have seen the huge crates of apples at our local cider mills, and I can
only say that the way that apples for processing are treated are a lot
rougher.  Possibly those housewifes of yore were just getting a "deal" on
poorer quality fruit, that was destined for processing.  Don't forget that
those same woman were probably going to process those apples into
something processed like applesause, or applebutter for long term storage.

Cripes we still make applebutter, applesauce and cider to get full usage
from the home farm orchard.


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