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October 26, 2009

Beak & Skiff Orchard
outside of Lafayette, New York

I wanted a photo from the apple orchard and this was the best I could come up with. I've long been fascinated with vintage apples largely because I grew up with tales of old apple trees that once grew on my grandfather's farm. I was surprised to see that Beak & Skiff were picking Northern Spy apples during our visit. I've wanted to taste one for 25 years, even going so far as to order a tree and tending to it for 10 years with not one blossom on it. Finally, I would be able to taste one, or so I thought. But no, said the fellow who was driving the tractor, the Northern Spy apples would be a little longer to ripen.

A lot of the vintage apples have unique tastes to them and I equate it to wine tasting. What you find in the supermarkets are varieties that have to look good on display as well as to stand up to shipping. The vintage apples are often ugly, not uniformly shaped, and often bruise easily. But the taste is usually outstanding.

Here's the website to Beak & Skiff, looks like they have been growing apples since 1911.