Just this week we had a heart-warming conversation with Emily, product manager at the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market.
Emily has a passion for apples and shared her opinion about which of the apples they carry make for the best grilling, baking and eating apples.
- Thinking of baking? Try a Mutsu (weird name, but apparently they are perfect for baking). Or perhaps a Honeycrisp, which exudes a gorgeous aroma of honey, with an undertone of cider, while cooking.
- For the grill, consider an Empire apple, because it keeps its shape when cooked.
- For that baked apple recipe, try a Granny Smith, which is tart and won't be overwhelmed by the dried fruit and sugar that you'll be heaping onto it.
Fair Food Farmstand is run by a non-profit organization and buys from over 90 farmers in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey regions. They like to work with small-scale farmers and producers who believe in sustainable and humane farming practices. The apples currently on sale are grown on farms that have stayed in the family for some 5 or 6 generations. Emily shared a little known fact with us; close by to one of these farms is the National Apple Museum in Gettysburg. Apparently, the museum is well worth a visit!
Don't expect the Museum to showcase the Apple's checkered mythology.
Outside of the Garden of Eden, it has also been implicated in the Trojan War, when Venus - or Aphrodite, hence the name Aphrodisiac - was awarded the Apple of Discord by Paris. The adulterous Paris under the protection of Venus, then successfully kidnapped Helen of Troy from her rightful husband. Thus the troublemaking Goddess is often depicted on coins, in paintings and in racy statuary, as cradling an apple.
Venus with Apple by Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen. 1813-16.