My favorite fruit is the humble apple. I’m from Washington, so this favoritism was inevitable. Washington is famous for its apples, and with good reason. They’re delicious, and there are many local orchards.
I remember one orchard down the street my childhood home. Families would go to the orchard, pick apples, and squeeze the juice out of them to make cider. I never did this myself, although I did volunteer to help the orchard’s staff run the event once. It seemed like a lot of fun, and of course delicious. I hope I can make my own cider myself one day. That would be cool. And I do love apple cider.
Another favorite apple treat of mine is the caramel apple. We usually have those around Halloween. Caramel is already quite delicious, but for caramel apples you kick things up a notch by pouring the caramel over a big, juicy apple and then rolling it in candy! It’s sugar on a stick, and it is divine. Admittedly, the caramel apples I usually get a hold of are usually so large that they’re actually rather challenging to eat, but the sweet deliciousness is well worth all the effort and minor jaw pain.
My mother also makes apple streudel a lot. It’s basically a deconstructed apple pie. You’ve got a crunchy, buttery oatmeal topping over heavily seasoned and cooked apples. Personally, I could eat that crust all day, but I’m not such a big fan of the apple portion of the dish, surprisingly. I love fresh apples: crisp and cool. Apple streudel’s apples are cooked, so they’re soft and warm. It’s not my favorite. My feelings are the same with regards to apple pie, as well. Lots of people love apple pie and apple streudel, though, and I can’t say I don’t understand why, even if the texture of cooked apple isn’t my personal favorite.
But why am I yammering on about apples and apple dishes? The reason is quite simple.
I love apples. I can buy apples very easily and cheaply in America, of many different colors and sizes. I can also buy apples in Japan, but there’s a lot less variety. I can’t really argue with the quality– the few apples I’ve bought here have all been crisp, juicy, and delicious– but the size is a bit daunting. They’re overlarge, even by my American standards, and I struggle to eat even half of these delicious giants. The last thing I want to do is waste such delicious (and expensive) food, so I buy them very rarely. Recently, however, I’ve taken to occasionally picking up a package of pre-sliced apple. The portion size of the packaged slices is much more reasonable, and I can enjoy it without fear of waste. I’ve been buying a lot of apple slices recently, and they remind me fondly of home and those delicious apple products of Washington.
Peak apple season is coming up. Maybe I’ll try to make something this year!