Do you know your ABCs? At Strack & Van Til that stands for Apple Basics and Classifications. Why is that important? Because fall is apple season, and the Produce Department is proud to offer a wide selection of delicious Michigan apples.
Strack & Van Til is bringing in bushels of apples fresh off the orchard trees from long-time partner, Dave Pagel Produce in Berrien Springs, Mich.
“We source our apples from Dave Pagel Produce because their apples are known for their quality and consistency. Dave Pagel has been in the apple business since 1978, and we’re proud to be a partner,” says Strack & Van Til Director of Produce Bob Hylka. “We offer several varieties that can be used in cooking, baking or eating right out of the fridge, so customers can choose their favorites.”
Love to bake? Michigan apples are perfect for pies, cobblers, strudels, baked apples and more. Make your own apple sauce, cider, gooey caramel or sweet candied apples or add them to salads. For a satisfying, healthy snack, there’s nothing like biting into a delicious, juicy apple.
Here’s the key to the Apple Basics and Classification of America’s favorite fruit. Hylka notes that all of the following Michigan apples are available now in 3-pound bags in the Produce Department:
Paula Red – This late summer apple is available into October. Its pleasingly tart flavor and pleasant aroma make it an enticing treat for back-to-school lunches or early-season baking. The Paula Red apple was discovered in Sparta, Mich.
Gala – Michigan’s third most popular apple is used for cooking, baking or simply eating. Its mellow sweetness means no extra sugar is needed for recipes, and it’s perfect for apple pie, cookies, muffins and other desserts because it holds its shape during the cooking process. The Gala apple originated in New Zealand in 1934 and was introduced in the U.S. in the 1970s.
Golden Delicious – Smooth, sweet and the most popular yellow apple, the Golden Delicious was discovered in Clay County, W.Va., in 1890. Professional bakers prefer the Golden Delicious apple’s gingery-smooth taste and thin skin for applesauce or cider, baking pies and other desserts. Enjoy fresh or cut up in salads. They also freeze well for later.
McIntosh – This versatile apple is quite popular, thanks to its juiciness and slight tartness. The large, round McIntosh is most commonly eaten out of hand, added to fresh salads or cooked and baked in cider or pies. Discovered in Canada in the early 1800s, its ultrajuicy white flesh, lightly tart flavor and fresh apple aroma liven up salads and make delicious applesauce, pies and cider.
Jonathan – Originally discovered in Woodstock, NY, the Jonathan apple thrives in Michigan’s cooler climate. Its juicy flavor is ideal for fresh eating and its spicy tang blends well with other apples, so it’s perfect for cooking or baking.
Honeycrisp – The sweetheart of autumn, this apple combines an unusual color and excellent sweet flavor with a great bite. Originally from Minnesota, the Honeycrisp prospers in Michigan’s cooler climate. Eat fresh, sliced or cut to add flavor to salads.
In addition to the current apple harvest, Hylka says other varieties from Dave Pagel Produce are coming soon:
Cameo – Discovered in Washington State in the 1980s, the Cameo apple is similar in taste to Red Delicious, however, it has a less intense color and a hint of pear flavor.
Fuji – The sweetest apple, with a bit of tartness and low acid content, is perfect for fresh eating. Fujis originated in Japan in the 1930s and arrived in America in the 1960s. Stored properly, a Fuji apple will stay crisp for weeks.
Jonagold – Developed in New York State in 1953, the crisp and juicy Jonagold is sweet and tart. It’s typically large, with a pleasant aroma, and is highly ranked by those who know their apples.
Red Delicious – The most recognizable and America’s most popular apple, the Red Delicious. was discovered more 100 years ago in Iowa and grows well in Michigan’s climate and soil. Known for the “five little bumps” on the bottom, Red Delicious is full-flavored with a sweet taste, yellowish flesh and crisp texture.
The Strack & Van Til Produce Department will also be carrying apple varieties from other suppliers when available:
SweeTango – Introduced in Minnesota in 2009, SweeTango combines the sweetness and crispiness of the Honeycrisp and the Zestar apple’s sweet-tart taste with a hint of brown sugar. The SweeTango is crisp, incredibly juicy and distinctly flavorful.
Smitten – This modern apple was developed in New Zealand and is closely related to more well-known types such as Gala. The flesh is a yellow-cream color and dense, with a crisp texture and is moderately juiciness. The flavor is sweet but with a bit of acidity.
EverCrisp – A newer variety, the EverCrisp apple is sweet, juicy and firm, and a cross between the Honeycrisp and Fuji. Developed in Ohio, the EverCrisp packs a powerful crunch.