As I was working my way through the free samples this weekend at the Takoma Park Farmers Market, I noticed some new apples at the Twin Springs Fruit Farm stand. You couldn’t miss them, really. Their skins, embedded with tiny vanilla bean-like flecks, practically glowed neon yellow.
I bought a couple of the GoldRush apples, which, contrary to the sign on the crate, are not exactly new. Their history, according to this document, can be traced to the early 1970s, when apple breeders (gotta love that job title) created a hybrid between a Golden Delicious and some mutt of an apple variety.
I brought the GoldRushes to work and cut them up for our soda-heavy troops here — well, save for managing editor Andrew Beaujon, who’s a trailblazer in fruit consumption among journalists. (He even named Twin Springs as the Best Apple purveyor in the Best of D.C. issue.)
Not long after Beaujon bit into his slice of GoldRush, he rushed over to my cube to exclaim, “Lemon!” I understood immediately what he meant: The GoldRush apple has a pronounced citrus flavor. Or what assistant managing editor Erika Niedowski called “kick,” she being far less snobby on matters of food than many of us. She also called it the “anti-Fuji.”
It wasn’t a compliment. Niedowski loves Fujis.
Beaujon, however, liked the GoldRush, though he wanted a firmer, crispier flesh, which I thought a little strange. Any crisper, and these apples could have chopped wood. Personally, I thought the apple was terrific — firm, crisp, sweet but balanced by that blast of sour.
It struck me as great summer fruit.
UPDATE 9:40 a.m.: I should have noted that, yes, apples are a fall harvest fruit, but given the GoldRush’s appearance in late March, I’m hoping Twin Springs has enough of the fruit in nitrogen storage to last ’til the next harvest.