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Monday, December 19, 2005

How do you like them apples?

One more holiday party, one more holiday tie. It never occurred to me before to use apples as Christmas decorations, but with their red skins and green leaves, they're perfect. And I owe that revelation to this unattributed tie from the Modaitalia Store.

In my house there is an ongoing debate over which variety of apples to buy. My daughter prefers the green Granny Smith apples (a fixed-mutation variety originally found in Australia), but they are too hard and tart for me and give me a headache. Mrs. Veneer likes Gala (developed in New Zealand from Golden Delicious and Cox's Orange Pippin) and Fuji (a Japanese hybrid of American Red Delicious and Ralls Janet varieties) apples; their skins are sprinkled with yellow, they have a nice, sweet flavor, and the meat of the fruit retains its crispness for a good while. They both look down on the Red Delicious (not bred but discovered in Peru, Iowa in 1874, and orginally called Hawkeye), the workhouse of the apple world, but too common for them, and prone to mushiness. But I think it's the best of them all; its skin has a rich, full flavor that is lacking in other varieties, and at its freshest is even crisper than the fancy-pants apples without being too hard. Some say the Red Delicious is not the apple it used to be, as in this Washington Post article. On the other hand, there is evidence that Red Delicious apples provide more health benefits than other apples. But in the end, any apple is better than no apple.

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