Did you know there’s a right way to eat an apple? I didn’t until I talked to the farmer who grows them.
I thought that there was nothing that could improve my apple-eating experience. I was wrong.
Before I reveal the secret, let’s talk about some possible options:
- Start at the thickest part, eat around the entire middle, and then eat the bottom and top.
- Start at the top near the stem and eat your way down toward the blossom end.
- Bite into the bottom and work toward the top.
- Take random bites around the apple until it is all eaten.
- Slice it
Perhaps how you eat an apple says a lot about your personality. (But that’s fodder for another blog post.)
It turns out that there is an optimal apple-eating method. How did I discover this secret?
I buy a share of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) every year from a local farm. Every week I get an incredible box of fresh produce from June – October. The variety of colors and flavors is stunning. I’ve sometimes taken photos of the box contents. It really does make you want to eat vegetables and fruit – they look so fun and taste so fresh. There’s really nothing like it.
One of the other benefits is getting to know the farmer. One day when I was picking up my box, he was there eating an apple. We got talking about them – the varieties, weather, the challenges of growing them. It was then that he told me the secret to apple-eating, which I am passing on to you.
- Hold the apple in your hand with the stem end up.
- Bite the apple at the top near the stem.
- Work your way down toward the blossom end.
- Once you get to the bottom, repeat until you get all the way around the apple.
- If you haven’t gotten close enough to the core, repeat steps 1-4.
Here’s a photograph of my apple with a bite taken out of it to demonstrate the proper technique.
Why does this matter? –It maximizes the juice flow, making the apple taste sweeter and juicier. It’s kind of like going with the grain of the wood. The apple grows that way, and its grain runs in that direction.
What can we learn from this besides how to increase our apple-eating pleasure? –It helps to know the person who grows your food. Why?
- They know more about the product and can often advise you how to select and use it. The apple eating was a perfect example of that.
- They introduce you to things you might not otherwise try or hear about. I’ve had kohlrabi, purple cauliflower, garlic scapes, and some of the most interesting looking squash I’ve ever seen.
- You get a sense of how they treat the plants and the land. We are only stewards of the land for a time. If we want to have farms for the succeeding generations, we have to take good care of the land. If we don’t want to poison ourselves with tons of chemicals we want to pay attention to what’s in or on the food. Especially produce and meat.
- When farmers have to face the consumer directly they are more likely to look out for our best interests. Otherwise, they won’t have any customers.
- They pour their love into what they grow. Every time I talk to John, I am struck by his passion for what he does. And it comes out in what he grows. Growing produce is his art. A thing of beauty.
How can you get closer to the food you eat?
- Join a CSA.
- Go to a farmer’s market. Many towns and cities have these, bringing produce to places where it isn’t grown.
- Join a food co-op. Not all towns have one, but you can often save money at a co-op.
Any time you have an opportunity to talk to the person who grows or makes the food you purchase, you learn something. And the farmers love to talk about their product.
What if you have a tight budget?
Go whenever you can afford it. You will learn valuable lessons that you can bring back to your grocery shopping excursions. You will expand your horizons, and make your menu more interesting. The food you eat is more likely to be good for you as well. Last time I checked donuts and candy didn’t grow on trees.
If you have had experience with a farmer’s market or CSA, how has it changed how you eat? What new food have you tried? To leave a comment, click here.