Throughout the summer the staff was pumped, the produce was beyond delicious, and the best part? The customers were never ending. For this we have no one but you to thank; so thank you friends, family, and valued individuals who frequent our establishment. The word customers would suffice here, but truth be told there is no word in the English language that describes our patrons. Trust me, I just spent five minutes on thesaurus.com.
To us, our customers are more then just that. They're our community, our comrades, friends of the family that drop by once a year to pick some peaches. Kind of like in-laws, only we REALLY like you! I know, I know, too much praise and it starts to sound dis-ingenuous. Just know that our hearts truly are filled with gratitude.
That being said, we are still open and rocking. Fall is my favorite time of year at Paynters. All the peppers grown in the fields are in, tomatoes are perfectly ripe and producing quickly, carrots and beets keep coming in like there's no tomorrow, and pears are reaching their peak. Not to mention the squash in all their glory, pumpkins for carving and cooking, and late Italian prune plums for drying.
Now, let's talk apples. There are so many varieties to choose from! In this day and age no one should be without proper navigation, so let me throw some information out there that may help you maneuver your way through the apple bins with confidence.
Here is a list of apples that we carry and may grow, at varying times, throughout the fall.
The Golden Delicious apple is a beloved classic. And for good reason. This variety has a rich, unique flavour, a lovely golden colour, and medium-firm flesh. Some call it one of the finest salad and dessert apples ever grown. (We can’t take sides on this issue, as all the other apples will get jealous.) Originally found as a chance seedling on a farm in West Virginia in 1905, the Golden Delicious has gone on to be a favourite around the world.
Usage: Golden Delicious apples are great for eating on their own or in salads, but they’re also perfect for pies, sauces and for baking. Naturally sweet, you’ll find you need less sugar.
Originating in Japan, the Fuji is a cross between a Red Delicious and a lesser-known variety called Ralls Janet. It’s super sweet with firm, crisp flesh that gives you a satisfying crunch. And who doesn’t love a satisfying crunch? The Fuji has red stripes over a yellow-green background and it’s a big one – about the size of a softball.
Usage: Fuji apples are excellent for eating on their own or in salads. They’re also great for baking and desserts because they hold their shape well. Naturally sweet, you’ll find you need less sugar.lick here to edit.
The Honeycrisp earned its name from being sweet as honey and extraordinarily crisp. A cross between Macoun and Honey Gold, Honeycrisps are jumbo sized, with mostly red colouring over a yellow background.
Usage: Honeycrisp apples are excellent for eating on their own, in salads, sauces, and baking.
Akane: Akane apples are used mostly for cooking, but don't miss this variety if you like a somewhat tart apple. The Akane is a cross between a Jonathon and Worcester Pearmin. Because of this heritage, the Akane is an excellent dessert apple, with a tart flavor & distinct aroma, but does not store well - so enjoy them early after harvest.
Ambrosia: This apple is a homegrown original and we’re pretty proud of it around here. It was discovered by the Mennells (see Our Growers) in the 1990s as a chance seedling. No one really knows its parentage. But the original orchard was full of Jonagolds and had previously been home to both Golden Delicious and Red Delicious trees.
Not only is this variety beautiful but it’s also versatile, making it a favourite in both lunchboxes and the pie dish. Crisp, sweet, and aromatic, it has a combination of red stripes over a creamy yellow background that produces an attractive pink blush.
Usage: The flesh of Ambrosia apples is slow to turn brown, making them especially suited for eating on their own and in salads. They’re also great for use in pies and baking – in fact, you’ll need less sugar than usual because they’re so sweet.
The Spartan apple was the first new breed of apple created by the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre in Summerland. So let’s give it up to the Okanagan once again for bringing the world a fabulous tree fruit. A little smaller, with snowy-white flesh and dark red skin, these crunchy, sweet apples are great in lunch boxes. And in briefcases. And in purses. And…well, you get the idea.
Usage: Spartans are excellent all-purpose apples, perfect for eating on their own or in salads, pies and sauces.
Yes, it would seem even apples have royalty. Presenting the Royal Gala – a crisp, firm, bright red or orange patterned fruit with a yellow background. Small to medium sized with a thinner skin, this sweet, succulent apple is a cross between a Golden Delicious and Kidd’s Orange Red. Originating in New Zealand in the 1920s, it’s a favourite around the world.
Usage: Royal Galas are best eaten on their own or in a salad. But they’re also good for pies, baking and sauces.
The perfect blend of sweet and tart, Sunrise apples are one of the first varieties to be harvested each year. That’s why many people refer to them as “summer apples.” The Sunrise rose out of the Okanagan valley, being yet another delectable tree fruit from the Pacific Agri-food Research Centre in Summerland.
Usage: Sunrise apples are excellent all-purpose apples, perfect for eating on their own or for use in pies, baking and sauces.
Back in 1811 John McIntosh stumbled across a chance seedling in his orchard. He transplanted it. It flourished. And thus his name was immortalized as a favourite tree fruit. Often shortened to Mac, these firm, crispy apples have a greenish overtone with a distinctive red “cheek.” They boast a rich, tangy flavour, an alluring aroma and their small to medium size makes them lunchbox perfect.
Usage: McIntosh apples are great for eating on their own, adding to salads, or cooking in pies, but they’re really well known for the pink-tinted applesauce that they make. (Note: if you’re using them in pies, you’ll need to use a thickener.)
When you think of an apple, this is the one that probably pops into your head. The Red Delicious is officially classed as a “sweet" apple, but it also has a certain pleasing tartness. Its flesh is highly flavoured, crisp and juicy when eaten raw. The variety started as a chance seedling in Iowa in the 1880s and is especially popular in North America.
Usage: Red Delicious apples are best eaten on their own, in a salad or used raw in other dishes.