APPLAUSE FOR NEW YORK STATE APPLE SAUCE
Applesauce deserves more respect. Sauce is often looked down on as kid stuff, when in fact it offers diverse and varied menu options. You can dress it up with spices such as cinnamon, or let its natural flavor shine with no sugar added. You can showcase single-variety applesauce, or enjoy sauce blended with other fruit flavors to make your mouth sing. You can serve it as a side dish or as dessert, bake and even barbecue with it.
With almost half of the New York state apple crop being processed, that’s a lot of apples getting sauced!
How commercial applesauce is made:
- Only apples that meet a certain grade standard make it into commercial sauce.
- Some sauces are made from a single apple variety; others are made with a blend of varieties to balance the sauce’s flavor.
- Apples are cored, and typically peeled (though not always).
- The apples are cooked, with ingredients added such as spices when wanted.
- The cooked apples are mashed to the desired consistency – from chunky to fine.
- Ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) may be added during production to retain the sauce’s pale yellow color. Vitamin C stops the natural browning process that is triggered when an apple is cored or peeled (and in this case, mashed too).
- The sauce is heat sterilized, typically via pasteurization, before being placed in sterile containers to ensure food quality and safety.
- Commercially produced apple sauce is shelf stable; that is, it can be stored unopened at room temperature. Once opened, apple sauce containers should be refrigerated.