From Too Many Chefs -

March 5, 2005
The Apple(s) of My Eye

apple juice2.jpgEvery once in a while, you see a product and think "Now why didn't anyone think of that before?" It seems so logical, so right, so perfectly geared to the enthusiastic foodie. I had that sensation lately when I noticed a new stall in my local Monoprix supermarket: it was filled with bottles of apple juice and each one carried the name of the apple used to make it: Braeburn, Granny Smith, Gala, Golden Delicious, the list goes on and on.

I thought I had found the perfect apple juice when I used to buy it from my local market in the 16th: brown, earthy, sweet but tasting purely of apple, it had very little relation to the usual store-bought stuff. I have no idea what variety of apple was used to make it, though now I wish I had asked. I have regretted since moving the loss of a good locally produced juice. And now the Touraine Jus de Pomme cooperative has come to my rescue. Not only do the producers provide this tantalizing array of apple juice varieties, but according to their site they do so in an environmentally responsible way. The juices are made from apples grown only a few hours from Paris, they are hand-picked and washed in clear water and pasteurized without the use of any additives or preservatives. What more could a green girl want?

And so now I'm committed to buying a half dozen bottles of juice so that I can discover, one by one, each apple variety. Braeburn has a complex flavour, not too sweet but not exactly tart. Granny Smith has been a big surprise. I expected it to be the apple equivalent of grapefruit in the world of citrus juices, but in fact it's sweet and has a distinctive berry flavour coming through. I'm really looking forward to trying the Pink Lady I bought today. Pink Lady is my new favourite eating apple, crisp just a tiny bit tart and full of flavour. It's a variety created in 1973 by the Australians, now being planted here in France. I don't think it can be improved upon as a plain eating apple, but I'll be happy to find out how it fares in liquid format.

A note on the web site: Pink lady isn't included in the list of available products, so it must be one of their newer additions. Hopefully this means that business is booming faster than their web editor can keep up and I'll be able to enjoy these juices for a good long time!

Posted by Meg in Sussex at March 5, 2005 6:54 AM | TrackBack

I like the varieties you've mentioned but I'm a big fan of Galas for hand fruit these days.

I'm thinking Granny Smith would be a great base for a tart tequila or dark rum based drink.

Posted by barrett on March 5, 2005 at 11:42 AM

Galas used to be my favourite until I found the Pink Ladies. If you haven't tried one, you really should!

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 5, 2005 at 4:18 PM

Forgot to add - GREAT idea of combining the Granny Smith with dark rum. I'm thinking hot buttered rums to warm us down to our toes...!

Posted by Meg in Paris on March 6, 2005 at 11:50 AM

Tried the pink ladies this week. They're good, but the skin is tougher. I think I'm still a gala guy.

Actually, the ones we REALLY liked were the Cortlands we had in the Hudson River Valley in New York on our honeymoon. You see them here occasionally, but not nearly often enough.

Posted by barrett on March 7, 2005 at 10:45 AM