In Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire, we learned how apples are propagated, and how the formerly Delicious apple came to have its absolutely uniform beauty and be absolutely devoid of flavour. Yet in most stores, that is all you can find, or perhaps a mackintosh. When I visited Toronto's Fiesta Farms I was amazed to see all kinds of varieties of apples grown right here in Ontario, so yesterday we had a lunch of apples. I am no Robert Parker or Alice Waters, but three of us tasted eight different varieties, including empire (mild, unexciting) Mackintosh (um, tasted like an apple, it is the standard) Gala, (sweet, nice texture, real sugar rush) Spy (astringent, dense) Crispin (boring) Russet (that's not an apple, it tastes like a pear) Honeycrisp (great crunch, earthy, undertones of cider) and Courtland (tart, weird texture, juicy).
Who knew one could have such fun in a supermarket. Try it!