Yesterday, I did my weekly excursion to the local grocery
store for staples
for the week. And there they were, as soon as the automatic doors parted to let me in: MAINE APPLES! Not only Maine apples, but coastal (local) varieties of Macs, Cortlands, and others. I bought a half dozen and when I got in the car and had my groceries loaded, I searched them out. I couldn’t wait til I got home. I chomped down on the crisp, tart coldness of a Maine Mac all the way home. Such a treat!
Which apple is the best for eating out of hand? The subject could be hotly debated and everyone is entitled to their opinion.
In my opinion, Damariscotta’s Biscay Orchards “Honeycrsip” apple takes the cake. Visually stunning, large, firm fleshed and beautifully mottled, it’s a visual feast. Juicy, just tart enough and plenty sweet, they are just wonderful eating.
The lovechild of the Macoun and Honeygold varieties, Honeycrisps are grown in Canada and new Zealand as well as in the US to supply the growing demand for this big and beautiful variety. They have a long shelf life, which makes them the darling of retailers, but the locals buy them up pretty darn quick.
So take a relaxing drive to Biscay Orchards on the Biscay Road in Damariscotta for Honeycrisps, fresh pressed cider, gifts home baked pastries. Choose the back roads and you’ll get an eyeful of Maine at it’s September best on the pretty country roads that take you out there.
And I made a mental note to get to the orchard this year, because I love them even more (if possible!) when I pick them myself.
Get to an orchard near you. Now’s the time to indulge in the glorious bounty of Maine in autumn.
Left: Melanie with son Jacob at Biscay Orchards in Damariscotta
Above right: Maine apples before picking
Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.