The beautiful scene of multicolored trees lining the fall horizon encourages a pause from everyday concerns. As leaves vary in shades of vermillion and saffron, their colors mimicking the flames of a bonfire, the change in climate brings a transformation in available harvests.
Autumn, especially the months of September and October, is the prime season for apples, and an adventure to sample different varieties can provide a welcome change of pace. One popular heirloom varietal is the Pink Pearl, which offers a surprising first bite—the flesh is a vibrant pink color with a sweet flavor that makes it an exceptional ingredient for applesauce and tarts.
Those who favor a Golden Delicious might also enjoy the Mutsu and Grimes Golden apples. The latter variety and the age-old Winesap make delightful substitutes in homemade cider recipes. The Winesap’s skin is a deep ruby color, and the flesh has red streaks throughout.
Asymmetrical in shape, the Calville Blanc is a world-renowned fruit believed to have been cultivated in the sixteenth century. Claude Monet made this apple pie variety famous when he featured it in his painting, Apples and Grapes. The Arkansas Black, a domestic variety, is originally from the American southeast. Its hard exterior encapsulates a distinctive taste.
Popular places for the best picks include Masker Orchards in Warwick, New York, Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, North Carolina, and Johnson Orchards in Yakima, Washington.
Text Nicole Caston
Photography Stephanie Welbourne