Thursday, October 15, 2009

One apple, 63 Cents.

One thing about NYC that never ceases to amaze me is the prices of fruit. Maybe it is because I have grown up a country girl with easy access to not only my parent's large veggie and fruit garden, but a glorious orchard that allows you to pick everything from pumpkins and plums to blueberries. Ever since I can remember I've been making trips to Samascott Orchard, a wonderful little haven in Kinderhook, NY that claims to have a booth in the Union Square green market, though I have never been able to find their stand (and this disappoints me immensely).

I've picked Queen Anne cherries, Golden Delicious apples, Grapes, Blueberries, Pumpkins, and Winter Squash. It's been a part of my childhood. I will be visiting there this weekend to get several bags of Golden Delicious apples, fresh baked cider doughnuts, and homemade cider. It's a place that has taught me to appreciate the bounties of each season. No apple you buy in a grocery store can match the crunch and flavor of a Golden Delicious slightly pinked around the edges from the afternoon sun, sweet and straight off the tree. Or blueberries warmed by the summer morning, big and plump and juicy. It's better than candy. And I can get a whole bag of apples for 50 cents a pound.

I bought a single red delicious apple at the grocery store down the street as a snack, and it was not only mushy and bland, but cost 63 cents, for one apple. I was discussing this dilemma with some coworkers, and several of them had never been an orchard, never picked their own fruit. I never realized how lucky I was. Granted, it has made me very particular about which fruit I want to eat when, mostly corresponding to what's in season in the northeast. But a life is not fully lived without tasting fruit fresh off the vine, plucked from a branch while breathing in the fresh, crisp country air with the only sound in earshot the rustle of the breeze, and I will be savoring these moments with each bite from the bushel of apples I plan to bring back to NYC with me.

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