Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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And for something completely different

Here at Terrible Minds, we have Chuck Wendig ranking apples. Not even heirloom apples, but ordinary apples you might well find in your local grocery store.

But hey, it’s a fun post.

Now we’re getting somewhere. I really liked the Opal. Very, very crisp apple with this incredibly breaking texture that called to mind the feeling of using your teeth to break off a piece of good dark chocolate. Strong scent of pear-pineapple which is met by an equally fruity flavor profile. Also in times of great need, Opal turns into a Mighty Apple Princess and will fight on your behalf, for your honor, for the Kingdom of Fruitonia. True story, don’t @ me.

Spoiler: the apple he puts right at the top is Pink Lady. I mention this because:

a) my crisper drawers are currently jam-packed with Pink Lady apples, though just this week I managed to eat the last of the Pink Ladies that were overflow, so at least all the remaining apples are actually in the crisper drawers. Now just lettuce and spinach and scallions and cabbage are dotted on random shelves of the fridge. Progress!

b) Pink Lady is hands down my best apple tree. It produces well, every single year. The fruits are medium-smallish, but not a bad size. They often have a little blemish or two, but they’re not too bad about that kind of thing. They store very, very well in the fridge and adequately at cool room temperature.

c) They taste much better a month after picking than they do right off the tree.

d) They taste waaaaay better off the tree than they do out of the store, though the difference is actually not as extreme as for a few other varieties, including, for example, Fuji. For me, Fuji apples from the store are much too sweet and single-note. A Fuji apple right off the tree is so much better there is just no comparison. On the other hand, the tree is not very productive and the apples it produces are quite damage-prone.

e) After more than a decade of dealing with fruit trees, I definitely think apples are dramatically easier in MO, and therefore probably in similar states, than any stone fruit. I’m just saying. One more tidbit of unreality in fantasy novels is that in the real world, you can absolutely lose the whole peach crop to brown rot. Never heard a complaint about diseases and pests hitting fruit in a novel, even the ones where fruit trees make an appearance.

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4 Comments And for something completely different

  1. Elaine T

    Because I just read the passage this morning , I must point out that in FORTRESS OF OWLS first chapter or so, we have ““The flocks are most of my people’s living,” Crissand said, “more so than the orchards in the last five years, since the blight.

    Rereading the set because the Teen kept wanting to discuss details in DETAIL. Besides, I’m waiting on your next one.

    Pink Lady apples are our favorites, but we’ve never had them – or Fuji – straight off the tree. Gravensteins we could get from my sister’s tree for a while, but she moved.

  2. Rachel

    Hah, good! There we go. Funny you happened to run across an apple disease in a secondary world just at the right time to point this out!

  3. Hanneke

    Another person who thinks Pink Lady are the best hand-apples (as distinguished from cooking apples) over here!

  4. Pete Mack

    I have to say my favorites are Boskoop and Northern Spy. Unfortunately neither one stores for long, but they are so tasty.

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