Autumn is the time of year when I start obsessing about apples. I don’t know whether an apple a day really does keep the doctor away, but I do know that my daily apple is a dose of happiness.
Growing up in the New York City area, the only types of apples that I knew anything about were Macintosh and Red Delicious. If any kid pulled an apple out of his Superman lunchbox (Not a stupid apple again! Anyone got a Devil Dog or a Ring Ding? Anyone wanna trade?), it was pretty much guaranteed to be one of those two.
The produce section at Waldbaum’s also carried these funky-looking green things that probably weren’t really apples at all. Green apples from Mars, I called them. Mom said their proper name was Granny Smith, but I thought she was joking. They were horribly sour and I had a grandmother named Granny Smith and my mother hated her guts, so I figured Mom was just calling the mother-in-law a sourpuss. Anyway, she’d buy a few of those weird green things once in a very great while when she was getting ready to bake an apple pie.
Many years later, when visiting Mom in upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley, I discovered the local favorite apple that went by the moniker of Rome Beauty. But it wasn’t until I moved to California that I discovered an entirely different kind of apple. I fell in love with the Fuji, the Pink Lady and the Gala. These small, crisp, heavenly treats are something like biting into a juicy candy. They are by far the sweetest apples I have ever tasted and it’s hard to believe that such a snack is actually fresh fruit that is good for you.
Although it’s been some time since I’ve owned a Superman lunchbox, my noon meal at work never seems complete if it does not have an apple to serve as a final flourish like a sweet punctuation mark.
And no, I won’t trade you!
Not even for a Ring Ding or a Devil Dog.