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It’s fall, y’all, and that means we’re shining the Get Local spotlight on local apples! Last year was a difficult one for area apple growers. Luckily, it’s a different story in 2013.
“We had a wet early part of the season,” says Greg Nix of Apple Wedge Packers & Cider, who grows apples and packs and distributes for other local growers. “But, the apples finished off nicely, yields are good, and the quality is much better than expected.” That excites chefs of WNC’s Appalachian Grown partner restaurants, who are going all out with apples now:
At The Junction in the River Arts District, Chef Chad is pairing their sweet tea-brined fried chicken with a local Fuji apple and butternut squash cobbler. He’s also using caramelized local apples as an accompaniment to their cider-braised pork osso buco.
To celebrate Get Local, Neo Burrito’s locations are offering a local cider-braised pork shoulder burrito with local apple-sage stuffing and collards with a side of local gingered apple slaw.
Montford Walk-In Bakery is making the classics this month: apple pies and tarts. They’re using old-variety McIntosh and Beecher apples, which they say make the best baked goods.
At Short Street Cakes in West Asheville, they’re working on a signature apple cake using hard cider from Asheville’s newest hard cider producer: Urban Orchard Cider Company. Urban Orchard is currently working with Odell Barnwell & Sons and Apple Wedge Packers.
At West End Bakery, also in West Asheville, they’re going sweet and savory, using local apples from a team member’s family farm. Sweet options include apple cheesecake with salted caramel, apple streusel muffins, and apple cinnamon roll bread pudding. On the savory side, they’re serving up a caramelized apple, onion, ham, and cheddar sandwich.
The Market Place Restaurant in downtown Asheville is going sweet and savory, too, offering a local apple crisp served with cinnamon streusel and buttermilk ice cream and featuring local apples—from Sky Top and Barber orchards—on their charcuterie and cheese boards.
In Hendersonville, City Market’s not only offering apples for sale via their retail store, but they’re also whipping up salted caramel apple hand pies using local Jonagolds.
Other Appalachian Grown partners are also loving local apples, including Blue Ridge Food Ventures. They’ll process about 4,000 pounds into applesauce this season for their Winter Sun Farms CSA subscribers.
Of course, you can also find local apples at partner groceries and roadside stands now, and you can pick your own at area u-pick orchards. Browse apple retail locations and farms via our online Local Food Guide. And, find simple, kid-friendly apple recipes via our Growing Minds Farm to School Program’s online recipe box!
For more details about what's fresh and local go to From Here.