Mutsu and Stayman among the year’s best late-season apples

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SOME OF THE BEST New England apples from the 2015 fresh harvest are still available in stores. Cortlands and McIntosh are remarkably crisp and flavorful …

Suncrisp apples, Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell photo)

Good now, better later: Idared and Suncrisp

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SOME APPLES, like fine wines, improve with age. Two relatively new varieties, Suncrisp and Idared — are examples. Their flavor is good when first picked, …

A bin of Cortlands from Boothby's Orchard and Farm

The classic all-purpose Cortland

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THERE MAY NOT BE a better all-purpose apple than Cortland. It has long been known for its excellence in pies. It is recommended for salads, …

Empire apples on the tree at Ragged Hill Orchard, West Brookfield, Massachusetts. (Russell Steven Powell photo)

Mid-season pleasures: Empire and Spencer

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IT TAKES YEARS, sometimes decades, between the time an apple variety is discovered and it becomes available to the public. Two mid-season varieties, Empire and …

Six outstanding early apples, and an outstanding 2015 forecast

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EARLY SEASON APPLES have come a long way in the past 50 years. Today, there are a number of excellent choices to satisfy people’s palettes …

The cult of Gravenstein

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MANY HEIRLOOM APPLES have one or more flaws that keep them from mass cultivation. It may be that the variety is biennial, producing crops every …

Time to get hopping (to New England’s apple orchards)

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THERE IS NOTHING like a day of orchard hopping to get the juices going about the 2015 apple crop. We arrived at Carlson Orchards in …