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My hotel in Philly, which is decidedly non-rustic, has locally produced apples all over the lobby as a sort of early-autumn harvest decoration. I'm not sure if this is what they intended, but it saved me from dropping what probably would have been a very large amount of money on breakfast. My favorite is the Wickson, pictured here, because it's small and tart. Apples are a food that has suffered more than most from the doctrine that anything can be improved by making it bigger and sweeter.
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Small, tart apples are absolutely the way to go. Crispness is also a quality that should be more highly prized, I think.

Really looking forward to seeing you in Boston tonight!
That sounds pretty emo to me. Contrariness for the sake of being contrarious? :)

To clarify: I'm referring to the ending sentiment about liking this because it's small and tart whereas mainstream thought prefers bigger and sweeter. (Note: this is coming from someone who dislikes tart things, but likes small things very much)
Crispness is certainly to be treasured along with colour.
+1 Rob's comment! Nothing ruins an apple-eating experience like a mushy apple. (Just ask Steve Wozniak!)
I'm not sure I'd call Steve Wozniak a mushy apple. Something else I'm sure but probably not that :D
@ Rob: hahaha I was inferring that Woz left Apple when it started to get mushy, not that he was a mushy apple... But I enjoyed your interpretation! :)
Tomatoes would like to join their voice to the choir of oppressed fruits.
Sunburst tomatoes (that's what I've heard them called. Little orange/yellow tomatoes) are the best.
Apples have lost their diversity in the push to meet the market. Well, most fruits and vegetables have suffered--but where there were never a huge variety of say, summer squash, there was a greater variety of apples than are common now. Eat local, people!!!
Enjoyed your talk in Philly very much. Thanks for visiting us. 
Trust G+ users to turn poor Francis' discussion on fruit into a tech commentary.
Golden Delicious is the king of all apples! BOW DOWN!!
I have to agree with the Fuji comment, but I like them just as much for their ability to withstand refrigeration better than most cultivars, as I do their sweetness and size.
My favorite variety is Honeycrisp—just sweet enough, and nicely crisp. I can't stand MacIntosh or Delicious, which are too sweet and too soft—often foamy, as if someone had hollowed out the peel and blown in some vaguely apple-flavored insulation.
You're in Philadelphia? *double take* Means you're probably not more than 30 miles from me. Where are you appearing?
Also strawberries. Native strawberries are the size of pinheads and each has more taste than the near-golf-ball-sized commercial varieties.
The best apple I ever had was a Braeburn fresh off the tree from an orchard in central Mass. Store-bought Braeburns never duplicated that taste, so I'm back to Fujis again :-/
We grow apples, sort of (vagaries of the Fallon, Nevada climate).

The difference between the smaller, tart, apples and the nearly flavorless sugar bombs int he markets is amazing.

Additionally, fructose bypasses some of the body's general governing systems for sugars and overloading on it is not healthy.

Even my children have adapted and prefer a tart applesauce with cinnamon to the store types.
Christof, I'm not even trying to play devil's advocate here; I have heard conflicting things about how fructose is "worse" than sucrose or dextrose or any of the other double carbohydrates that we eat in the normal course of our lives. Do you have any pointers where I might find some real data about this?
Excellent still life. BTW, it's too bad the Kindle wasn't called the "ReadMe," then I could post "I'm reading Reamde on the ReadMe."
Jan R
I'm waiting for my heirloom Twenty Ouncer (yep, feeds four people) apple variety to fruit - which I am told is absolutely gorgeous. I think it's the commercialisation of fruit that completely eliminates the flavour, or alters it beyond recognition (as opposed to the size of the fruit and the smoothness and blemish-free-ness of the skin). IMHO.
True. I haven't really enjoyed an apple since picking them off the ground while rabbit hunting as a boy. They were hard as a rock, as freckled as a redhead, always had galls and often a worm hole. That was quite a while ago. Thanks for reminding me.
+Christof Harper Sorry that I took so long to pick up your response re: fructose, but it's a very readable and thorough blog. Thank you, even though I had to look up lots of words :-)
What ever happened to the Pippin, formerly available at every grocery in the winter now we get smushy, watery tasting green apples with no soul
I agree Gaea!!! I want my Pippins back...NOW!!! Granny Smith apples are grainy and gross.
Best apples I have ever had was when we were picking them in a pick-your-own-fruit orchard in Delaware.  They had about 20 varieties  and in order for us to decide which types we wanted to pick we were told to just go ahead and pick one off the tree and take a bite, if we like it pick some.  Best apples ever and probably one of the best memories I share with my brother in recent years acting like kids climbing trees and picking apples.
never heard of Wickson apples.  Wonder if they grow anywhere near me.
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