Crunchy, juicy, a great source of natural energy, and an easy snack you can slice up for your lunchbox or simply pull out of your backpack, the apple is just about the most convenient fruit out there. With no sticky or slimy peel to worry about, and covered in a thick, crisp skin loaded with vitamins, apples are also remarkably diverse: did you know there are seven and a half thousand varieties of apple in the world? You can get them green, red, yellow; striped or spotted or in just a single shade; and they can range in size anywhere from the dimensions of a plum to something as big as your fist.
Not only are they the healthy alternative to a candy bar, loaded with natural fructose energy that can be a real lifesaver in the middle of a day filled with errands and appointments, apples also provide a plethora of other benefits. Good for your heart, believed to reduce the risk of diabetes, and even containing certain compounds which can combat the effects of asthma, there are plenty of plus points for getting an apple a day into your diet. To help you see why exactly, here’s the quick guide to apples you’ll be happy to have come across.
What kinds of apples are there?
As we know, there is no shortage of variety when it comes to apple-picking the world over, but there are plenty to choose from in the US – in fact, there are believed to be as many as 2,500 different varieties here in the Home of the Brave. If you multiply that figure by ten – 25,000 – that’s the number of acres of space dedicated solely to apple orchards in the US, which makes it easy to see why apple harvests account for over half a billion dollars in trade every year.
Up to until 2018, the sharp-textured and dark-hued Red Delicious apple had enjoyed the title of most popular apple in the United States since 1968. After this landmark half-century reign, the incumbent Gala apple, of Australian origin, took the top spot and can easily be identified by its light-red striping across a mild lemony-orange-colored skin. As well as that, there are countless other kinds of apple for you to seek out and try, so be sure to nose around for the more unusual ones at your local grocery store.
Thanks to their solid consistency and intense juiciness, apples are ideal for a whole load of recipes. They can be used as chutney, mashed into sauce or syrup, and put to use in an endless assortment of baked goods: tarts, crumbles, pies, cakes... Apples can be used as the key component of just about anything that involves pastry and a pre-heated oven. But if you wanted to expand your culinary repertoire, there are so many others ways to cook with apples, you might be surprised at the possibilities.
As the base of a meat stew, apples can be diced into thick chunks to add a terrific slow-release flavoring to any crockpot meal; apples can also be used in salads to offer a little bit of added sweetness, if you find you’re getting a little tired of using celery sticks to give you mixed-leaf salad some extra crunch. Unusually, apples can also be used to make butter, by blending together an infusion of thinly sliced apples, sugar, cider, with a few sprinkles of cinnamon and cloves.
As keen supporters of the farm-to-fork philosophy – in which organic produce is harvested fresh and delivered straight to the consumer, in the purest A-to-B sense – Buffalo Market works hard to nurture fair and long-standing relationships with small-scale farmers. With the growing rise in demand for more sustainable food, suppliers can really pick and choose who they work with. Fortunately, Buffalo Market gets to take delivery of some the best-quality ingredients in California, being based as we are in San Francisco and working with organic producers across the state. This also means we get to capitalize on the Californian apple harvest, which is renowned across the US as its fifth-largest producer and second-largest supplier.
When it comes to the apples grown in California, there are over 80 different varieties for you to choose from, a number that has continued to expand over time as the capacity for apple growth has spread further and further across the state. Where once apple production was confined only to the coastline mountains north and south of the Bay Area, the Southern California mountains, and the Sierra foothills, recent decades have seen outcrops of Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith apples within the Central Valley region. While the Central Coast has recently become a significant apple-growing region, major apple harvests are known to take place in Fresno – represented mostly by the three varieties of apple mentioned in the sentence previous – as well as the San Joaquin county’s harvests of Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Rome Beauty apples.
The saying goes that you can have too much of a good thing, and that is broadly true - but it really depends on what thing you’re talking about and just good it is. Well, Buffalo Market believes in supplying as many market-quality ingredients as the lowest possible price, with an inventory of top-tier products exceeding 2,600 items, catering for kitchens of any size. Talk about a good thing! Whether you’re just starting out on your culinary journey toward a more vibrant, more flavorsome meal plan, or if you’re a seasoned chef with decades of experience behind you, we have an expansive range of wholesale goods sourced exclusively from local, independent California farmers.
If all this talk of apples has got your mouth watering, as well sparking an interest in trying some of the delicious varieties we’ve covered up top, then you’re in luck. Right now, Buffalo Market is offering wholesale cases of organic Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith apples for you to enjoy today. Whether you bake it in a pie, blitz it into apple sauce to go with your roast pork, or serve alongside some mature, aromatic cheese, these apples are sure to put an added burst of flavor into your week. So step away from the Easter eggs and take a bite out of these beauties instead.