NY is Good Apple Picking

So a cold front whipped through the city last night bringing us closer to fall-like temperatures and cooler breezes. This week looks to bring us lots of sunshine and comfy high temperatures between 60-70. We couldn't be more thrilled with the weather these days. We can still go outside without a jacket, but we can also take advantage of the cooler evenings and start experimenting with the layering scheme. T-shirt and sweater, long sleeve shirt and vest, fall is just more fun for wearing clothes. Summer is nice and all but the shorts and t-shirt thing gets very old (someone else can chime in on the woman's perspective on this).

Gothamist felt somewhat cheated this weekend when our Chicago friends told us they had spent Saturday picking apples at an apple orchard in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is for cheese... you want apples? Here in the Empire State is where it's at. After all, we are responsible for naming such famous apples as the Tompkins King (for Kings County), Strawberry Chenango, Fishkill, Red Hook, Ogdensburgh, Seneca Favorite, Suffolk Beauty, Washington Strawberry, Geneva Pippin, and Long Island Russet. Not sure we'd want to put a Fishkill apple in our mouth but we have been the inspiration and origin for many an apple variety. Most notable is the Newtown Pippin, which at one time was the most popular and widely grown in the country. It was discovered in Newtown, Long Island (now Queens).

These days our most famous apple varieties are McIntosh, Empire, Rome, Idared, and Red Delicious. We think that the irony of the Red Delicious apple is that they are rarely that delicious. They are usually very plain and boring, though often quite large. We prefer something a little more tart like the McIntosh, yum.

We have a bunch of apple orchards all within an hour and a half of the city and they love the company of fall visitors. With apple picking season in full swing, now is the perfect time to throw on some overalls, grab some friends and head for the orchards and the hayrides. This weekend there are at least 9 apple-related festivals going on. You can spend the day strolling through the orchards, eating yummy applicious creations, and soaking up the season. Plus many orchards also have pumpkins good for your grand Halloween plans and many other items for purchase and sampling.

Apple Country has a great website for everything apples this season including varieties and usage, some intriguing recipes, health and nutrition information and a lot more fun facts... Did you know it takes 36 apples to make a gallon of cider? We did not know that.

The U.S. produces more than 9.37 billion lbs of apples per year. My god the fiber content... New York contributes 1.05 billion of that, 2nd only to Washington state which is projected to contribute almost 5 times that for 2004.