It’s wonderful living five minutes away from a Wegmans grocery store! There are so many amazing produce options to choose, including locally grown and organic. The sheer variety of some of the produce is overwhelming: even with a couple of the regular apple options being sold out (such as Pink Lady and Red Delicious), there were still eleven different apples on display. Considering that basically all we had in Doha were Gala apples (but from a million different locations: Chile, UK, US, France, Italy…), we weren’t sure which apples would be the best for us. So we decided to conduct the ultimate apple tasting and buy one of each!
The eleven apples that we got from Wegmans included Macoun, Honeycrisp, Evercrisp, Gala, Granny Smith, Envy, Pazazz, McIntosh, Fuji, Sugar Bee, and Empire. I remembered loving McIntosh apples from my childhood in Maine, and we knew from Doha that the boys liked Gala and Granny Smith apples. But we resolved to give each variety a fair chance. Each of us had a numbered tasting notes sheet. It took willpower to carefully make it through eleven different tastings and comparisons, but we rose to the challenge!
I found the tasting fascinating because the apples really do have different tastes, juiciness, firmnesses, and balances of sweetness and tartness. Some apples were much sweeter than others, including the (aptly named) Sugar Bee, as well as Honeycrisp, Evercrisp, Gala, and Envy. Some had a front-forward sweetness followed by tartness (like the Macoun), while others were tart and then sweet (like the Empire). And some were predominantly tart (sometimes to the point of sour!), like the Fuji, McIntosh, Green Apple, and the very tart Pazazz. Similar differences were to be found in the chewiness of the peel, the crispness versus mealiness of the fruit, and whether there was a bit of a grassy flavor. In general, I found the ones that were crisp, juicy, and not too sweet to be the most refreshing. And in the end, we had found our favorites: the Envy, the Evercrisp, and the Honeycrisp!