The first apples appeared at the farmer’s market today. One stand had Gravenstein and McIntosh. I was so excited to see them. After this long summer of berries and peaches and other delights, the best is yet to come.
Gravenstein is early, large, irregularly shaped and very fragrant. The two I bought are a clear greenish yellow with red striping on half, which is the classic coloration. There is also a sport that is much redder called ‘Red Gravenstein’. Gravenstein is an heirloom apple that originated in Denmark and is now grown widely, especially on the US West Coast and in Nova Scotia. While a few commercial growers still produce thousands of tons in the Sonoma Valley, Slow Food USA considers it endangered because it is being out-competed by easier to grow and harvest apples (Gravenstein has short stems and the fruits ripen over a long period, making harvest labor intensive), and small orchard lands are being developed.
I am going to grate these apples and mix them into pancake batter.