What's Up with Apples
While we’re weeks away from the September and October apple harvest in the U.S., we thought it fitting to get your juices or shall we say cider flowing about the most popular fruit in America. The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates Americans average the equivalent of about 47 pounds of apples a year, including about 16 pounds of fresh fruit. According to a 2010 report by U.S. International Trade Commission, the traditional Red Delicious still reigns as the most eaten variety, but Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji are gaining steam. Here’s some apple news you’d like to know.
The Cost of Apples
Before you rush to the grocery store, consider what you should be paying to satisfy your penchant for apples. According to a current USDA report, apples are the least expensive fruit on a per edible cup equivalent in America. Fresh apples and canned applesauce are a cheap $0.28 and $0.46 respectively. The average price of Red Delicious apples in 2010 per pound was $1.20. Ready-to- drink apple juice is about $0.26 per cup, with frozen apple juice close behind at $0.20. Dried apples cost $5.40 a pound or about $0.51 a cup.
Apples that Never Brown
If you’ve ever bought sliced apples you may have noticed they take much longer to brown than the fruit you bite into. Vitamin C is added to the apples to keep them from browning which may leave a slightly noticeable pasty texture. But a new company is looking to skip the added ascorbic acid and genetically engineer an apple that doesn’t brown or bruise. A New York Times article covers Okanagan Specialty Fruits’ attempt to sell the “Arctic Apple.” The U.S. Apple Association is against the move. You can voice your opinion on the USDA’s public comment period which ends September 11th.
Starbucks’ Apple Spice not Cider
As a personal fan of apple cider, we wanted to make sure you knew Starbucks has an apple juice drink, but it is not, nor has it ever been apple cider. A blog Starbucks Gossip says the once cider-like drink has had a name change to Caramel Apple Spice. Unfortunately, I didn't need to do any research to find out what the drink is actually made of, Tree Top Apple Juice. That’s right, my barista poured the juice from concentrate into my cup and since I hadn't had the drink in years, I was clueless. This goes completely against Starbucks’ website which bills the drink as "steamed, freshly pressed apple juice and cinnamon syrup." So if you're used to apple cider, and the little bit of pulp that gives that nice texture - and you're not satisfied by Starbucks' shady version - it's not your taste buds. You'd do better using the 140 discretionary calories the no-whip version costs elsewhere. For the real thing, keep your eyes and ears peeled to apple celebrations in your area and look out for more varieties of apples in your local grocery store.
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