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Molly Watson

Gravenstein Apples

By August 6, 2013

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Gravenstein ApplesIt's Gravenstein apple season, which means a lot to those in Northern California, especially those who grew up waiting for these few weeks each year when Gravensteins are harvested. Yet today is the day. Today is the day that even if you don't live in Northern California, you can experience the delight that is Gravenstein apples. From August 6 through August 16, The FruitGuys are shipping Gravenstein apples all over the country.

An heirloom variety that is tricky to harvest and doesn't store well and that is grown in Sonoma County, where suburban development and the transformation of orchard land into vineyards seems never-ending, the Gravenstein apple is close to extinction as a commercial crop, despite its great flavor and use as both an eating and baking apple.

The Fruit Guys have partnered with Slow Food Russian River to get just-picked Gravenstein apples to consumers nationwide. The Fruit Guys are selling them at farm-direct prices while also donating 16% of the price of each box back to Sonoma County Gravenstein farmers. Cool deal for everyone. I got an early box of two dozen apples. I meant to make an Old-Fashioned Apple Pie with them, but my my visiting family managed to eat them all out-of-hand before I got a chance. Their tart-sweet flavor and wonderfully crisp texture meant that "Mol, what kind of apples are these?" was asked more than once.


August 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm
(1) Teka Lynn says:

I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and just found out that the old apple tree in the backyard is a Gravenstein! It had a wonderful yield this year, and some (by no means all!) of the apples are overflowing several fruit bowls on the dining room table. I feel honored to have access to such fine heritage apples, and only wish I’d known about them sooner.

August 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm
(2) localfoods says:

You are lucky indeed!

September 5, 2012 at 4:23 am
(3) kitty says:

Just came home from a labor day weekend over at Pt. Reyes National Sea Shore. Near the town of Inverness some one had a “gravenstein apples for sale” sign in their drive way. We pulled over and did the self serve thing. A scale was on the little table and a sign $1 a pound. we bought $2 for the drive. Oh, I have never had such a delicious apple. Wish I had bought them all.

September 5, 2012 at 11:09 am
(4) localfoods says:

Love it! I wish you’d bought them all and brought them over to my house!

September 30, 2012 at 11:59 am
(5) kevin says:

Grew up in Napa and had a large gravenstein tree in the back yard. I’ve thought often of going by to see if that tree is still there. Nothing compares in an apple pie. I bought two trees this spring from an heirloom farm in Hood River and am hoping these will compare. Wish growers would go back to growing apples for taste and use rather than looks.

October 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm
(6) Barbara says:

I grew up in Sonoma County and we had 3 huge Gravenstein Apple trees. We made and froze Apple pies, apple crisp and apple sauce. There is no better apple for all three of these. I am spoiled and look forward to the short time of the year you can find them in the stores.

August 26, 2013 at 9:53 am
(7) Dave says:

I have just identified a tree on my property as a Gravenstein. It about 30 years old. I live in the fingerlakes in Upstate NY. The tree is loaded this year. I am going to can apple sauce and eat them fresh!

September 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm
(8) localfoods says:

Lucky duck! They make amazing applesauce – I’ve even been known to use it as a filling for an apple turnover-type dessert.

September 5, 2013 at 2:01 am
(9) Karen says:

I have found that gravensteins will actually keep for a couple of months in the refrigerator. Or slice and freeze them in plastic bags for cooking or baking in the winter.

September 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm
(10) localfoods says:

That is very good to know – of course, they never stay around long at my house, but a girl can dare to dream!

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