Comparing apples to apples

I’m part of Gastropost – a food initiative put out by the National Post to interact with their readers. Participation is relatively easy (not to mention fun). They send you a ‘food mission’ every week and if you’re interested in participating, all you have to do is send them a picture through Twitter, Facebook, instagram or post directly on their website with the tag “gastropost”. Last week’s food mission was “Taste Something New”. This week’s mission is “Apples to Apples: Eat something with apples.”

Some ideas they suggested:

  • Enjoy a little crunch time with a simple apple on its own. (In which case, feel free to tell us your favourite variety and why.)
  • Incorporate apples into a tasty dessert or main dish.
  • Do something inventive that perhaps we’ve never seen before.
  • Take advantage of the season and go apple picking. (If so, we’d love to share in your little adventure.)
Last fall, I did an apple taste test where I took my favourite apple variety (gala at the time) and put it up against a bunch of other similar looking apples – ambrosia, fuji and honey crisp. Before doing that taste test I had no clue as to the different taste varieties and flavours associated with each apple.
So this fall, the apple tasting continues and I am going to be trying three types of green apples:
  • Granny Smith
  • Golden Delicious
  • Ginger Gold
Taste testers:
Please try each of the apples and comment on the appearance, taste, texture and flavour. Which one do you prefer? What is your favourite way of eating apples? (raw, in a certain dish?)
Which type of apples do I like eating the most? Interestingly enough, I choose different varieties depending on what I’m making. For raw apples I like crispy, sweeter apples such as gala, ambrosia and honey crisp. For applesauce I prefer softer apples such as MacIntosh and Spartan. For apple pie, I find that a combination of apples works best. But I would not have realized what a great variety we have in terms of flavour had I not done these apple tastings.

Results:
Interestingly, most people were surprised at how sweet the Granny Smith was. Like me, they remember Granny Smiths as being very tart almost to the point of sour. But today, the Granny Smith we had was tart without being sour, even sweet. It was very refreshing. An individual in the taste panel who prefers Granny Smith says that the trick is to pick the ones that have the appearance of tiny spots appearing on their skin. She claims that these are the sweeter ones (at least this is a rule that she goes by). The Golden Delicious were sweet but not as crunchy as the Granny Smith.

Most people didn’t like the soft texture of the Ginger Gold but if they just focused on the flavour they actually preferred the flavour profile of this apple the most. One of the taste testers said that she has had crispier Ginger Golds in the past and doesn’t like it when they get soft. Knowing this, I think that the Ginger Gold would make a really tasty applesauce. I would eat them raw if they were crunchy but if they started to go soft, I could easily make them into applesauce.

This was a great taste test. I usually stick to Gala and Fuji’s but it was nice to open things up to green apples once again. I was pleasantly surprised by the Granny Smith so I might pick those up once in awhile when I feel like something different and will try the Ginger Gold if it looks firm and crunchy.