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The Honeycrisp Apple

On my new kick to write about whatever food I may be thinking about rather than trying to churn out new fusion recipes while on my weird “non-aggravating” diet, I offer to you the humble Honeycrisp apple. Raw, whole, and usually organic in my experience, this apple is absolutely, by far, the best apple I have ever eaten, hands down. It requires absolutely no preparation to be enjoyed. And trust me, you WILL enjoy it.

You can have it for breakfast, with lunch, as a snack, or for dessert, and I truly believe that in none of these capacities could it ever disappoint. It is the American response to the Valencia orange, the Scandinavian lingonberry, and the Armenian apricot. It is one of the world’s best fruits, in my opinion.

The honeycrisp is a hybrid, which of course toes the line of “genetically modified” as we have come to know (and in some cases, fear) the term. But, as the honeycrisp itself cannot self-replicate, none of the cross-contamination fears usually attributed to GMOs are associated with this apple.

Anywho, the honeycrisp is so wonderful that it actually made me break a time-honored rule the other night. Anyone who has ever been to an Armenian household knows that you should bring something as a gift. Normally, I grab a bottle of wine, but Puritanical Maryland and Sundays equal no alcohol available for purchase. So I picked up a couple of pastries instead from a local Whole Foods. While I was in there, I spotted a stand of honeycrisps sitting neatly placed in front of me.

I mean really... would you be able to resist this? From www.thefruitcompany.com -- where you can buy them!

I had looked for honeycrisps several times in Las Vegas, to no avail. I once found something called Honeycrisp but was, in reality, a weak, small, mushy excuse for the normally large, crisp apple I knew and loved. That was almost worse than not finding anything at all.

Remember, you want a Honeycrisp that is shaped like this... (photo from www.slashfood.com)

... not so much like this. (photo from nyapplecountry.com)

I missed the crunchy, crisp texture; the sweet, tart flavor; the juice in every bite. I quickly grabbed about 6 apples, not caring about how I was going to get them back across the country in a couple of days. And I knew that once I got them to a fridge, they’d be good for weeks to come.

So I threw the apples in the bag and headed over to dinner. The hosts graciously welcomed me and immediately took the bag from me in order to save me the hassle of carrying it.

This is the part where I was supposed to graciously allow the bag to be taken and continue on to the tour of the house and eventually to the commencement of the delicious dinner they had prepared.

But it was not to be. I followed one of the hosts into the kitchen, despite the fact that I was being directed to the sitting room, and spoke over her protests to let her handle it. She actually thought I was trying to help her unpack and serve the food. Not so much.

“But…” I stammered as I ran behind her. “I hate to do this, but I need to get into the bag. The apples in there… are mine. For me to take home. You can have one or two for tonight if you want, but I need the rest.”

I spoke with no small degree of shame. But I knew that if I left the apples there, I would never let it go. I would dream about them. I would wake up thinking about them. Some of you probably think I’m making a weak joke here, but those of you who actually know me, know that I’m being totally serious. I harp on stuff like that.

So. I took the apples back, and of course my friends were very gracious and totally cool about it. But, we all knew that I had broken an old, traditional, unbreakable rule of hospitality. I brought a gift for dinner and then took 1/3 of it back.

Was it worth it?

Well… if no one from Las Vegas reads this and then tells me I could have purchased the apples at my local Whole Foods after all, I think so.

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