Monday, October 26, 2009

Jonathan apples

One of the joys of October is the arrival of Jonathan apples. Tonight I walked to my local supermarket and bought fourteen Jonathan apples.

I am no savant of apples - I barely know a pippin from a bowling pin - but I know what I like, and what I like is the Jonathan apple. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. The first bite gives a spicy tang of fresh cider.

From the fragmentary history that I found on the Internet, I understand that the Jonathan originated about 1826 in New York as a chance seedling from the Espopus Spitzenberg apple tree. The Esopus Spitzenberg was an American variety first found in Esopus, New York in the early 1700s and was reputed to be Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple. Assuming a strong family resemblance between the Esopus Spitzenberg and the Jonathan, I can attest that Mr. Jefferson knew his apples.

As Jefferson might say, Pursue happiness and eat a Jonathan apple for the good of your body and soul!