Before Slow Food came on the scene here in the US many of us were unaware that there were regional fruits that needed saving. Now there is actually a system for endangered edibles. Take the Gravenstein Apple for example. Here’s an ode to the Gravenstein from Edward A. Bunyard, author of The Anatomy of Dessert:
Of Gravenstein it is hard to speak in mere prose, so distinct in flavour is it, Cox itself not standing more solitary, so full of juice and scented with the very attar of apple. This aroma comes out on the oily skin and remains on the fingers despite many washings, bringing to mind the autumnal orchard in mellow sunlight.
The premier growing region for the apple is Sonoma County around Sebastopol. The apple has been put into the Slow Food Presidia, a metaphorical fortress to protect it from further danger. Very few American products have made it into the Presidia. Read all about the Slow Food effort to save the apple here.
If you’d like to support the apple and one farmer who grows them here is information on the Walkers and how to mail order the fruit.
Walker Apples (Lee and Shirley Walker):Grows c. 27 acres of Gravenstein apples, season late July to early September. Mail order: 40 lbs of Gravensteins for $25, or 20 lbs. for $15, plus shipping and handling. Sells at Santa Rosa farmers market (Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to noon).
10955 Upp Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472; tel. (707) 823-4310; no web site
Wholesaler for Walker apples: Shasta Produce Co. (Guido)
131 Terminal Court # 24, San Francisco, CA 94080; tel. (650) 588-0930
Hear more about the Gravenstein, this Saturday on Good Food…