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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, October 22

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Ingredient Thu Sep 04 2008


smallapple.jpgSummer fruit is still here, but it's time to take a look at what's next: autumn's embarrassment of apples.

Michael Pollan's "Botany of Desire" makes a fantastic point: How many other fruits do we know by their variety name? Few. And how many other fruits are presented to us in such astonishing variety? Very few. You probably couldn't tell me the variety name of that banana you ate this morning (Cavendish, by the way), but you likely know what kind of apple sits on your counter. Maybe it's a Pink Lady, a Granny Smith or a Red Delicious. (Though I really hope it's not a Red Delicious. It's not a Red Delicious, is it?)

Choice is good, but it can make for some tough decisions at the farmers markets. Local apples are likely not to be the same varieties you see in the supermarket. And while you may only see a half dozen or so varieties in early September, by the time the month is out, you'll probably have dozens of choices.

Your best bet is to ask for a slice to sample. If that's not a possibility, try throwing out a few names of apples you've enjoyed and seeing if the grower has anything they recommend. Saying you want "a good apple for eating" (as opposed to cooking) isn't terribly helpful because people enjoy eating all kinds of apples. While it's true that "eating" apples may not be good choices for cooking, quite a few apples considered excellent choices for cooking are also great choices for eating.

Real Simple has a handsome apple chart that should get you started, but -- like apple season itself -- it's just the beginning.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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