It’s crunch time! The Big Apple is bringing in its apple crop
Fishers, N.Y. – New York really is the Big Apple and the state’s apple growers are now demonstrating why, as pickers work to harvest a forecasted 28 million bushels of crunchy, munchy, juicy, delicious apples – that’s 1.1 billion pounds – over the coming weeks.
This year’s apple crop will be of average size for the state, but the crop size is about the only thing that will be average this year, reports New York Apple Association (NYAA). The state has generally had favorable weather from spring bloom throughout the growing season, so apple fans should find ample supplies of all their favorite New York varieties starting this fall.
New York produces more apples than any other state east of the Mississippi River for good reason: this is perfect apple country.
“New York has perfect geography and climate for growing apples, and that shows in both the wide variety and the great eating quality of the apples we grow here,” says NYAA President Cynthia Haskins.
The big story: Variety
The big news in apples today is variety, both introduction of new varieties and rediscovery of the classic favorites.
Apple fans associate New York state with classic apple varieties including McIntosh, Empire and Cortland. That said, New York state is also a leader in new variety development. Cornell University recently debuted RubyFrost and SnapDragon, two varieties that can only be grown in New York state. The state also grows some of the best Honeycrisp and Gala in the country, which are among the top varieties in today’s apple world.
“Consumers are telling us that they want the new varieties as well as the classic favorites,” says NYAA President Cynthia Haskins. “That just goes to show that there really is an apple variety for every person’s palate.”
The state’s apple association urges New Yorkers to buy local apples and cider.
“There is no reason for New Yorkers to look any further than their own back yard for great tasting apples and apple cider – you can find it all right here,” says NYAA’s Haskins.
New Yorkers can sample the state apple industry’s wares a number of ways and support local apple growers in the process, from family-friendly apple picking day trips to whole weeks dedicated to celebrating hard cider.
“There are many ways to enjoy the New York state apple food scene – and scene(ry),” said Haskins.
For example, the apple association suggests:
- Go shopping with a farmer: Visit a farm market near you for sweet (unfermented, nonalcoholic) cider to serve chilled or hot. Apple dumplings, cider doughnuts, apple pie. And of course, fresh-picked apples!
- Be picky, pick your own: You haven’t experienced fall in New York until you’ve gone apple picking. Spend a day enjoying the beauty of an apple orchard, and take home plenty of apples for snacking, baking, saucing and juicing.
- Fest apples at an apple festival: Hay rides, live music, ready-to-eat treats, cider-making demonstrations, arts and crafts, and of course just-picked apples!
- Celebrate hard cider: Hard (fermented, alcoholic) cider is booming in New York! Visit a cidery or cider festival near you, or look for a cider week celebration in your area.
To find a farm market, “u pick”, cider maker or apple festival near you, type your zip code into the locator map on the home page of www.NYAppleCountry.com. The website includes a guide to the state’s varieties, as well as recipes. To learn more about New York’s cider industry, visit www.NYCider.com.
Note to editors: Photos are available to support this story via NYAA’s Flickr photo-sharing site. NYAA grants permission for use of our photos in editorial coverage.