At the farmer’s markets, this is winter fruit season: persimmons, pomegranates, pears – and apples. I love apples. My husband loves apples. Well, not all apples; mealy, mushy apples, with washed-out flavor don’t find much favor with us (I mean you, Red Delicious, and your sibling, Golden). I like really crisp, tart-sweet apples that crunch loudly when I bite into them, and that are loaded with vibrant, juicy flavor. The farmer’s markets around town are my go-to source for apples, and there are many good ones to be had.
But I have to say that the Pink Lady apple pictured here, from Cuyama Orchards, courtesy of the Mar Vista farmer’s market this past Sunday, is one of the best apples ever! Beautifully colored – much deeper than pink, it’s a bright red with splashes of gold – and sensationally crisp, the flavor is so electrifyingly alive, so tart, so sweet, that each bite is almost overwhelming. I can’t imagine eating one quickly, it’s that intense. The only quality taking it away from utter perfection is a slight toughness to the skin – but this, for me, is akin to the flaw said to be necessary in a Persian carpet, lest perfection offend God. In other words, a bit of chewy skin offers no impediment whatsoever to one of the most delicious pieces of fruit my husband and I have ever enjoyed!
This apple, besides being a revelation for eating out of hand, would make an amazing tart, pie, or applesauce.
Cuyama Orchards can be found at the Sunday Mar Vista market, as well as the venerable Wednesday Santa Monica market and the Saturday Santa Monica market as well. (I’m sure they’re at other markets – I’ll update as I find out where!)