Sunday, October 16, 2011

Of Apples and Oranges

I was selecting an apple in the fruits and vegetables section in the grocery store and another shopper came by and asked if the apples were guud. Only 99¢ per pound which is the equivalent of paying $2 for gasoline in Hawaii fresh fruit prices. However some kind of off-variety apple that I had never heard off before. To my fellow shopper's good fortune I had done my research. The night before I bought a single apple and had returned to the orchard to pick a bunch of apples from the same tree. The apples passed the taste test, so to speak. So I related the story to the shopper that I had purchased a single apple the night before and it's indeed worth buying, etc. etc. Then to beleaguer the point our shopper asks, "are the reds better?" Meaning the apples with more red skin on  them. Ask Steve Jobs about apples already. Hey, I just divulged some pretty privileged info to you so without saying a word I made my leave. Was the person a product tester for the grocery store? Or, perhaps the grower himself? We'll never know that.


Kay said...

Ummm... so what kind of apples were they? I've been meaning and meaning to buy some fresh Michigan apples over here, but just haven't gotten around to doing so. Apples here seem to cost anywhere from 50 cents to $1.50. Bananas were 39 cents!!! What the heck! Don't the bananas grow in Hawaii?

RONW said...

Kay- they grow the apple bananas in Hawaii but the ordinary kind are from South America. And, yea, you ought to take advantage of the lower fresh fruit prices while you're on the mainland.

Anonymous said...

Ron - I don't know where you shop but at the Safeway on Kapahulu you can ask the produce person how a particular fruit tastes or for recommendations and most times they will cut you a sample.


RONW said...

Alan- I have yet to make it to Safeway on Kapahulu just up the street this week for shopping. I'm sure they limit the samples to perhaps 20 fruits per visit : )

Mokihana said...

We live about an hour or so away from apple country, the Hood River Valley in Oregon. Every year we drive up there to get several months' worth of orchard-fresh apples at about 35-50 cents a pound, which I am almost, but not quite enough to make me stop going, embarrassed to write those prices knowing what yours are back home.

We get pounds and pounds of them. We make applesauce and save a bunch of them for the long winter months. The ones we were beginning to get in the stores were so junk, with hardly any flavor at all. So next weekend I will be delighted to finally taste some great apples.

My personal favorite is Fuji. Braeburns are good too. Forget Red Delicous. Granny Smiths and Macintoshs are good for cooking.

My papa-san used to be produce manager for Kapi'olani Supermarket. He told me the best way to pick out a good, crisp apple: Give it the thump test. Using your thumb and middle finger (using your middle finger's nail), thump each apple. It should have a high pitched sound if it's crisp. If it sounds kinda dull, pass on it. Works every time.

So next Sunday, off we go to Hood River, which is a gorgeous drive up the Columbia River. And we'll probably come home with $50 worth of lovely apples.

All hand-thumped, of course. Mahalo, Papa-san.

RONW said...

Mokihana- that's delicious news from you, albeit makes me more pee-ed off at the fresh fruits we get shipped in from the mainland. On top of expensive they're unripe. Actually they never ripen sorta spoils the more they age on the shelves. The only solution I've found is to toss the fruits into the microwave than chill them in the freezer. Might sound like an unorthodox method but then they do taste like ripe fruits after 'processing.'

Darlene said...

Maybe the person was trying to become a friend. The produce section does seem to be a place to meet people. ;-)

Thanks for the microwave/freezer tip. I will try it as our produce has been picked green, too and is tasteless.

RONW said...

Darlene- the inquisitive shopper was with his wife both were pushing a their own shopping cart, so I thought that was kinda odd to begin with. Then the shopper came by the apple pile where I was by himself even though at 11 o'clock at night we were about the only people in the fruits and grocery section and at that hour people are customarily not as friendly, so I was thinking that perhaps the wife might need to find somebody better or keep him on the leash. Ever parked in an almost empty parking lot and somebody drives up and parks in the very next stall to you. Sorta like that. Anyways, imported 'evergreen' fruits are about $1.40+ per pound here and how fast they get eaten only increases the costs.

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kahuku said...

Mainland produce is expensive. From what I hear there is actually an apple orchard on Mauna Kea that is managed by the county. I haven't found out more about it yet, but I intend to.

Big Island is lucky to grow most of the fruits I crave. Occasionally, I want an apple or grapes, but I try to stick with everything that's grown on the island.

What type of apple was it? My favorite is honeycrisp.

RONW said...

Kahuku- "an apple orchard on Mauna Kea" is new news to me but that would be something nice to visit, journey to. To answer your question I never quite was able to remember the official name of the apple in the store. I was in the same store today and the price on the sign showed it had risen to $1.17 or something around that, so I strolled pass the bin. Never heard of "honey crisp" either. Only vegans must eat those. Just trying to be humorous.