"Yes, this book is pretty, but don't let that distract you. Because what it really has going for it, like most great books, are its words. And for me at least, once I finally got around to actually reading them, I couldn't stop. Reading them. Aloud. To everyone I know.
'Seemingly designed by a team of lab technicians and focus groups, Honeycrisp doesn’t crunch like normal crisp apples; it shatters in your mouth like an apple-flavored Cheeto.' (pg 66)
Apples of Uncommon Character is overflowing with gems like this. Rowan Jacobsen knows how to turn a phrase. He’s written a book about apples, but you don’t have to care about apples to love it. You only have to care about words. Just don’t be surprised if, by the end, you find yourself caring about apples a little bit, too."
In his classic A Geography of Oysters, Rowan Jacobsen forever changed the way America talks about its best bivalve. Now he does the same for our favorite fruit, showing us that there is indeed life beyond Red Delicious—and even Honeycrisp. While supermarkets limit their offerings to a few waxy options, apple trees with lives spanning human generations are producing characterful varieties—and now they are in the midst of a rediscovery. From heirlooms to new designer breeds, a delicious diversity of apples is out there for the eating.
Apples have strong personalities, ranging from crabby to wholesome. The Black Oxford apple is actually purple, and looks like a plum. The Knobbed Russet looks like the love child of a toad and a potato. (But don’t be fooled by its looks.) The D’Arcy Spice leaves a hint of allspice on the tongue. Cut Hidden Rose open and its inner secret is revealed.
With more than 150 art-quality color photographs, Apples of Uncommon Character shows us the fruit in all its glory. Jacobsen collected specimens both common and rare from all over North America, selecting 120 to feature, including the best varieties for eating, baking, and hard-cider making. Each is accompanied by a photograph, history, lore, and a list of characteristics. The book also includes 20 recipes, savory and sweet, resources for buying and growing, and a guide to the best apple festivals. It’s a must-have for every foodie.