Local, Organic Apples for Fall
Who doesn’t love an apple? As summer fades and the holiday season approaches, we’re busy working with our partners and suppliers to bring you a ton of delicious fall-themed produce, and a variety of apples are now in season.
Produce can be tricky. We’re committed to bringing you only the freshest and most flavorful produce, so when we find suppliers who share our values, we stick with them. As a case in point, meet the farmers of Cuyama Orchards.
Howard and Jean Albano began planting apples in 1993, establishing an orchard on their property in the Cuyama Valley, an hour north of Santa Barbara. The Albanos found that Cuyama Valley’s unique climate, high elevation, and plentiful water supply made it a location exceptionally suited to producing a variety of robust and flavorful apples. After moving into organic apples in 2000, Howard, Jean and their son Byron built Cuyama Orchards into the leading grower and shipper of organic apples on the west coast. In a competitive market, the Albanos have thrived, thanks to patience, hard work, and an uncompromising dedication to quality.
Here’s a sample of what Cuyama Orchards is bringing to Bristol Farms this fall:
With its unparalleled popularity on grocery shelves, Gala is one of the classics, ranked up there with the Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Fuji strains. Its thin skin, soft texture, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor make the Gala perfect when eaten “naked.”
The Sweetie apple, a New Zealand hybrid of the Royal Gala and Braeburn apples, preserves the flavor of the Gala, minus its tartness, hence, “Sweetie.” The Braeburn stock provides the Sweetie’s firm, crisp texture and the hints of spice that underlie the sweetness. Fans of the Gala and Fuji varieties will love the Sweetie.
Named after orchardist Maria Ann Smith, the Granny Smith apple is an Australian hybrid of North American and European strains and has been cultivated commercially since the mid-19th century. Granny Smith apples are light green in color, and their dense texture and super-tart flavor are unmistakable. Though tart when eaten raw, Granny Smiths yield sweetness when cooked or allowed to ripen, making them exceptionally versatile. Whether baked into pies, chopped raw into salads or boiled down into jelly, Granny Smith apples can be counted on to perform.
Crunchy, juicy, and sweet-tart, with a long storage life, the Honeycrisp apple was literally designed to provide an ideal raw-eating experience. Developed at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, the Honeycrisp apple larger-than-average cells flood the mouth with juice when bitten into. This juiciness, combined with the firmness of the flesh, accounts for the Honeycrisp apple’s surging popularity. Its long shelf life only adds to its appeal.
A hybrid apple out of New Zealand, the Envy apple has a mouth-friendly character that reveals its Braeburn and Royal Gala parentage. Its sweet crispness makes it ideal for eating raw “out-of-hand,” or dicing into a savory meal, like a goat cheese frittata or a stuffed chicken.