Every 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!