1.3 Billion Pounds of Apples Will Be Harvested In Michigan This Year!
As the warm breeze of September sweeps across the picturesque orchards of Michigan, a harmonious symphony of colors and flavors takes center stage – apples. It’s time, once again, for the annual Michigan apple harvest, a celebration of nature’s bounty and a testament to the hard work of dedicated growers and farm workers.
Our produce buyers here at Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace are delighted at this year’s near-record crop of apples, a diverse array of varieties, from the sweet and crunchy Honeycrisp to the aromatic Macintosh.
“It really is one of the best crops we’ve seen,” said Joe Santoro, Senior Produce Buyer at Nino’s. “What makes Michigan apples special is the ideal growing conditions. Our climate and geography provide the perfect setting for growing apples, and this year’s mild spring weather, and plenty of summer heat, sunshine and rain resulted in quality, colorful, flavorful apples for our customers to enjoy.”
Aubrey is making sure all those Michigan apples are stocked and looking great!
This year’s crop is slightly behind last year’s record haul, but it will still produce over 32 million bushels of apples, which is over 1.3 billion pounds! That makes Michigan the third largest growing state, but we are considered by many to have the best apple crops in the world – thanks in large part to our nearly 800 family-owned orchards.
Thus, let’s take a closer look at the varieties that we’ll be carrying here at Nino’s, by taking a quick journey to explore the stars of this year’s apple harvest: Honeycrisp, Gala, Macintosh, Rave, Sweet Tango, Ambrosia, Kanzi, and Kiku.
The Honeycrisp’s Sweet Overture
Our story begins with the crisp and juicy Honeycrisp, a beloved apple variety that captures the essence of a Michigan autumn. Honeycrisp apples gleam like rubies against the green leaves, inviting apple pickers to indulge in their sweet and slightly tart taste. With a satisfying crunch, the Honeycrisp opens the season with its refreshing, honey-like flavor.
Paris is keeping those Honeycrisp beauties well stocked!
A Gala of Colors
Venturing deeper into the orchard, the Gala apples dangle like ornaments from the branches. Their vibrant red and yellow skin adds a burst of color to the landscape, while their sweet, mild flavor provides a delightful contrast to the more intense apple varieties. Gala apples are the perfect choice for crisp, fresh salads or as a lunchbox favorite.
The Nostalgic Macintosh Melody
For those seeking the quintessential apple-picking experience, the Macintosh apple beckons with its aromatic, old-fashioned charm. Known for its soft, white flesh and a sweet, tangy flavor that harkens back to childhood memories, the Macintosh apple brings a sense of nostalgia to the harvest season. From apple pies to homemade applesauce, the Macintosh remains a timeless classic.
EverCrisp: A Promise of Perfection
Amidst the orchard’s enchanting atmosphere, the EverCrisp apple is a star on the rise. With its exceptional combination of Honeycrisp and Fuji heritage, the EverCrisp apple offers a tantalizing mix of sweetness and crunch. It promises to be a staple in both the apple orchards and kitchens of Michigan for years to come.
“The EverCrisp is my personal favorite,” added Santoro. “I enjoy it because it’s just a bit sweeter and crunchier than its parents – the Honeycrisp and Fuji apples. It’s also a hardy variety, which means it stays fresh longer, often well into the winter if you store it in your refrigerator.”
Rave: A Modern Twist
In recent years, a new apple has taken center stage in Michigan orchards: the Rave apple. This crisp, zesty variety is a testament to modern breeding techniques, marrying the best qualities of the Honeycrisp and the MonArk apple. With its bold, tart flavor and extraordinary crunch, the Rave apple brings a contemporary twist to traditional apple picking.
Sweet Tango: A Taste of Bliss
Imagine biting into an apple and discovering a sweet, tropical paradise. That’s the sensation you’ll experience when tasting a Sweet Tango apple. This unique variety, a cross between the Honeycrisp and the Zestar, combines the best of both worlds with its juicy sweetness and zesty tang. It’s no wonder apple enthusiasts eagerly anticipate its arrival each year.
Ambrosia: The Food of the Gods
The Ambrosia apple, aptly named after the mythical food of the gods, lives up to its divine reputation. This striking apple boasts a radiant, pink-blushed skin and an enticingly sweet flavor with hints of honey. It’s the kind of apple that leaves you craving just one more bite, making it a true gem of the Michigan apple crop.
Kanzi: A Taste of International Flair
Hailing from Belgium but finding a welcoming home in Michigan’s orchards, the Kanzi apple offers a delightful blend of sweet and tart flavors. Its crisp, juicy flesh and bold taste make it a standout choice for snacking, baking, or adding a European touch to your autumn fruit bowl.
Kiku: The Perfect Finale
As the apple-picking season draws to a close, the Kiku apple takes center stage with its extraordinary balance of sweet and tangy notes. Its striking red and orange skin hides a crisp, succulent flesh that provides a perfect finale to the apple harvest season. Kiku apples are the epitome of a Michigan fall, encapsulating the rich flavors and vibrant colors of this time of year.
In the orchards of Michigan, the apple harvest is more than just a season; it’s a time-honored tradition that brings together communities and celebrates the rich diversity of apple varieties. From the sweet allure of Honeycrisp to the timeless charm of Macintosh, and the modern delights of Rave and Sweet Tango, each apple variety adds its unique note to the symphony of flavors.
Here’s a great Harvest Schedule, from our friends at the Michigan Apple committee (download it HERE):