Apples

I love apples. I love their shape and colour, and the sweet-sour taste of them. I try to eat an apple every day, but when February has passed and the only things in the supermarket are imported varieties that lack punch, eating an apple a day starts to feel like a chore. It used to be that we only ate freshly picked apples for six months of the year. Now apples are picked under-ripe for storage, then forced to ripen artificially. Apple lovers never used to reject an apple on the grounds that its skin wasn’t perfectly smooth, perfectly shiny, perfectly unblemished. I, too, pick through the trays of apples in the supermarket all year round, trying to find the most attractive, sometimes sacrificing flavour for the sake of a daily munch. Some of the apples have brand names protected by trademarks. I buy them and feel uncomfortable, although I don’t know why. My favourite apples are all traditional British cultivars – russets, pippins, cox’s and pearmains. They are small, crisp and juicy, and only available through the autumn and winter. I look forward to British apple season. There’s something in the tartness of our fruit that suits the national character.

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