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annc
08-02-2005, 03:10 AM
Yes, I know we discussed our favourite apples a few months ago, but that was about taste. Today I bought some royal gala apples at the supermarket, and when I got them home, i was taken by the richness of their colours, not obvious under the harsh supermarket fluorescents, when I unpacked them.

Maybe it's just that they're a complete contrast to the red delicious, jonagold and pink lady we've had lately. I can't paint, and don't especially appreciate still life paintings, but I desperately wanted to paint these apples.

Susie
08-02-2005, 04:57 PM
Gala's are my absolute favorite apple. When we get them from Australia or New Zealand, it seems to me the flavor is spectacular. And I agree, they are beautiful in color as well.

Susie

annc
08-02-2005, 10:07 PM
Gala's are my absolute favorite apple. When we get them from Australia or New Zealand, it seems to me the flavor is spectacular. And I agree, they are beautiful in color as well.

SusieGood grief, I must have been drunk last night when i wrote that! These are Fujis. Sorry!

But i still think they're beautiful. <sheepish grin>

ktinkel
08-03-2005, 06:43 AM
These are Fujis. Sorry!

But i still think they're beautiful. <sheepish grin>I guess you don’t get obnoxious little stickers on every piece of fruit the way we do. Gives the name, country of origin, mysterious numbers — and often causes damage when removed.

But then you would know for sure what variety you were raving about! :-(

I understand our stickers are about to be replaced with tattoos (laser-burned details), btw.

ElyseC
08-03-2005, 01:43 PM
I understand our stickers are about to be replaced with tattoos (laser-burned details), btw.!! Where did you read that? The stickers are annoying and if I find two equally nice pieces, one with and one without, the one without goes home with me. However, I'm not sure I want lasers in their stead.

annc
08-03-2005, 01:54 PM
I guess you don’t get obnoxious little stickers on every piece of fruit the way we do. Gives the name, country of origin, mysterious numbers — and often causes damage when removed.

But then you would know for sure what variety you were raving about! :-(

I understand our stickers are about to be replaced with tattoos (laser-burned details), btw.Oh, we do get the little stickers, but I'd been tossing up between the two at the supermarket, chose the cheapest, and then sort of remembered them as the Royal Gala. Stupid, really, because i really know the difference in the colours. The Royal Gala are much pinker - almost as pink as the Pink Lady. But the mistake persisted until I got out the supermarket docket yesterday morning to check the price ($1.20 a kilo, which is very cheap here) and it said Fuji. So I looked at one of the apples, and sure enough, it said Fuji. Still love the colour.

Shane Stanley
08-03-2005, 04:16 PM
I guess you don’t get obnoxious little stickers on every piece of fruit the way we do

Don't get me started... Fortunately our two local greengrocers are stocking more lines without them.

Shane

annc
08-03-2005, 04:23 PM
Don't get me started... Fortunately our two local greengrocers are stocking more lines without them.Maybe they take them off to hide the fact that the country on the sticker wasn't Australia?

ktinkel
08-03-2005, 04:33 PM
!! Where did you read that? The stickers are annoying and if I find two equally nice pieces, one with and one without, the one without goes home with me. However, I'm not sure I want lasers in their stead.It has been pretty well covered in the news (in the New York Times, anyway). And I believe there was a segment on Morning Edition on NPR.

Most of the health food stores are objecting to the notion of laser tatoos. But they probably do not require such complicated labeling to begin with.

But the supermarkets want to be able to track purchases (and charge the right amount) without relying on human (checkout) expertise. So they are insisting on these labels. Walmart is dragging everyone else along, I gather.

I imagine it is futile to resist — best to grow all your own produce, but who among us is ready for that? (Even in Iowa! <g>).

ktinkel
08-03-2005, 04:36 PM
Oh, we do get the little stickers, but I'd been tossing up between the two at the supermarket, chose the cheapest, and then sort of remembered them as the Royal Gala. Stupid, really, because i really know the difference in the colours. The Royal Gala are much pinker - almost as pink as the Pink Lady. But the mistake persisted until I got out the supermarket docket yesterday morning to check the price ($1.20 a kilo, which is very cheap here) and it said Fuji. So I looked at one of the apples, and sure enough, it said Fuji. Still love the colour.Fortunately, they do not — cannot — charge for sensual pleasure, whatever is left of that.

I like both Fujis and Galas, myself. But actually prefer pears overall! But I can identify the varieties I like — no sort of labeling is for my benefit, alas. It allows the markets and distributors to save money and track sales. Oh, well.

ktinkel
08-03-2005, 04:39 PM
Don't get me started... Fortunately our two local greengrocers are stocking more lines without them.When the weather allows, I prefer to buy from local growers — who have neither the expertise nor interest in labeling to attach nasty labels to food.

But in New England that season is pretty short. Starts about now, in fact; and continues for 6 to 9 weeks. Well, except for pumpkins; we can get those until October or November.

Susie
08-03-2005, 07:01 PM
I understand our stickers are about to be replaced with tattoos (laser-burned details), btw.

That's disgusting. Heaven only knows what a laser would do to an apple or other produce for that matter. Why do we have to have stickers anyway? AARGH

Susie

Shane Stanley
08-03-2005, 07:01 PM
Maybe they take them off to hide the fact that the country on the sticker wasn't Australia?

No, they're buying locally, and I gather the growers don't like labeling if they don't have to. There are still enough greengrocers, as opposed to supermarkets, to make it practical. The imported products often don't carry a country of origin anyway -- you can't make it compulsory without making the labels compulsory.

Shane

annc
08-03-2005, 07:42 PM
Fortunately, they do not — cannot — charge for sensual pleasure, whatever is left of that.

I like both Fujis and Galas, myself. But actually prefer pears overall! But I can identify the varieties I like — no sort of labeling is for my benefit, alas. It allows the markets and distributors to save money and track sales. Oh, well.The problem I have with pears is judging their ripeness. But there's nothing quite as, um, decadent as a fully ripe pear. Reminds me of that gorgeous scene in Tom Jones, actually, although I'm not sure there were any pears in that scene.

annc
08-03-2005, 07:46 PM
No, they're buying locally, and I gather the growers don't like labeling if they don't have to. There are still enough greengrocers, as opposed to supermarkets, to make it practical. The imported products often don't carry a country of origin anyway -- you can't make it compulsory without making the labels compulsory.My sister says they have machines to put the labels on (I'd queried the expense when they first started doing it here, and her job at the time ensured that she knew these things).

However, I do dislike the stickers on environmental as well as aesthetic grounds, and consider them unnecessary most of the time.

The greengrocers around here, those that have survived the onslaught of the supermarkets, all carry cheap, inferior produce. I've tried to buy from them at times, but find tht the wastage is high, while the cost per kilo isn't much lower than that at the supermarket. I do keep my eye out for cheap tomatoes though, for making soup.

ElyseC
08-03-2005, 07:49 PM
When the weather allows, I prefer to buy from local growers — who have neither the expertise nor interest in labeling to attach nasty labels to food.

But in New England that season is pretty short. Starts about now, in fact; and continues for 6 to 9 weeks. Well, except for pumpkins; we can get those until October or November.With the Amish and other organic farmers around here, we're getting spectacular produce right now. The sweet corn is absolutely divine. No stickers or other falderal [sp?] to mess with. Nice when you know the producers, too.

BigJohnD
08-04-2005, 12:53 AM
I used to work in a Fruit and Veg wholesalers years ago, and I learned to recognise probably dozens of varieties of apples. Many of them seem to have disappeared as the supermarkets order soggy French Golden Delicious and bland wet Pink Lady from South Africa by the tonne.

My favourite cooking apple was a Derbyshire (huge apples, large ones being over 0.5Kg each) which just dissolved in the pan or pie to the most beautiful tasting purée, and for eating, well does anything beat a Cox's Orange Pippen or a Russet straight from the tree?

The ones I detested most were Star Kings and Star Crimsons. They looked spectacular, being shiny cherry red, but it was just a chewy exterior hiding mush.

And I nearly forgot to mention the best apple products - scrumpy and Calvados!

BigJohnD
08-04-2005, 12:55 AM
My point was that yer average supermarket check-out cashier has no idea of the products on sale - unless the apple has a sticker or barcode on it.

ktinkel
08-04-2005, 06:27 AM
And I nearly forgot to mention the best apple products - scrumpy and Calvados!Dunno what scrumpy may be, but I agree on Calvados.

Unfortunately, we have been too long away from France to have any good stuff — the commercial products offered here in the stores is not really worth drinking. (We are meting out droplets of our last real Calva for special occasions.)

terrie
08-04-2005, 10:32 AM
As to stickers...yesterday's Washington Post food section had an article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/02/AR2005080200471.html) on this very subject...here's part of it:

"Many fruit labels are made with adhesive-free tabs that assist in their removal without skin damage, which can be a particular problem with plums and pears. If a stubborn label leaves some adhesive on your fruit, you can remove it by patting it a few times with the sticky side of the detached label.

But have you ever wondered why it is necessary for growers and packers to label each and every piece of fruit in a crate? Do the produce unpackers at the supermarket need to be reassured that a crate of oranges really contains oranges? Are the labels merely stating the obvious?

No. The labels are used by the retail markets for inventory control. Notice that they contain numbers, the so-called PLU (Price Look-Up) code. The cashier inputs the code number into the computer that used to be a cash register, and the market's database chalks up the sale of one more apple or orange from a specific supplier.

The PLU numbers also are useful to consumers. Conventionally grown fruits have four-digit PLU numbers beginning with 4. Organically grown fruits have five-digit numbers beginning with 9, and fruits of genetically modified plants have five-digit numbers beginning with 8.

By the way, I have heard rumors that the labels themselves are edible. They are not. They're made of paper, polyethylene or vinyl plastic. Eating one won't kill you, but who'd want to, anyway?"


Terrie

ElyseC
08-04-2005, 03:04 PM
Oo! Glad to read that article. Thanks much for posting about it.

Now to find a "transitional organic" apple or whatever and see what number it starts with. It has not yet qualified for full organic status, but is in process, so I wonder whether it would start with a 4 or 9 or something else.

BigJohnD
08-04-2005, 10:57 PM
Scrumpy = locally made cider, and far be it from me to suggest anything illegal, but it is made in same spirit as moonshine, hooch, poitín, God's tears, etc. etc.

Molly/CA
08-10-2005, 10:15 AM
One of those mysterious numbers (the top one, I think) tells you if the fruit was organically grown. Wonder if I could ever find the list or the link again.

Laser-burned? YUK!!!

Steve Rindsberg
08-10-2005, 07:17 PM
Re Laser-burned ....

I have to admit that was my first reaction too. But never having seen one of these things, I started to wonder if perhaps it couldn't be done in a minimally intrusive way. Since they're so controllable, the result might be quite subtle. It's not like we're grumbling about the big ugly scars on our CDs after all. ;-)

ktinkel
08-11-2005, 05:32 AM
Re Laser-burned ....

I have to admit that was my first reaction too. But never having seen one of these things, I started to wonder if perhaps it couldn't be done in a minimally intrusive way. Since they're so controllable, the result might be quite subtle. It's not like we're grumbling about the big ugly scars on our CDs after all. ;-)In a TV news broadcast about this change, they showed a fairly subtle effect, on a nectarine.

This laser-tattoo is probably preferable to the stickers — removing them often damages the fruit. And of course it means less work for consumers, which will probably keep resistance low.

But it isn’t gorgeous. And given the world today, it seems as if it could be just a hop and skip away from “tattooing” advertising (or tracts of some sort) on the fruit!

Michael Rowley
08-11-2005, 08:17 AM
KT:

And given the world today, it seems as if it could be just a hop and skip away from “tattooing” advertising

An interesting possibility. Perhaps we might get a revised Lewis Carroll, in which Alice is no longer tempted by a cake labelled 'Eat me' but with an apple engraved 'Eat me'.

ElyseC
08-11-2005, 10:35 AM
In a TV news broadcast about this change, they showed a fairly subtle effect, on a nectarine.

This laser-tattoo is probably preferable to the stickers — removing them often damages the fruit. And of course it means less work for consumers, which will probably keep resistance low.

But it isn’t gorgeous. And given the world today, it seems as if it could be just a hop and skip away from “tattooing” advertising (or tracts of some sort) on the fruit!Having photo directed many a food shoot and having an executive chef for a nephew, tattoos won't make life very happy for chefs and food stylists. Oh, art directors can fire up Photoshop for some image editing (if tattoo isn't too hard to fix), but chefs don't have that luxury!

terrie
08-11-2005, 11:12 AM
>>molly: One of those mysterious numbers (the top one, I think) tells you if the fruit was organically grown. Wonder if I could ever find the list or the link again.

You mean this (from the Washington Post article I mentioned in post #20):

>>The PLU numbers also are useful to consumers. Conventionally grown fruits have four-digit PLU numbers beginning with 4. Organically grown fruits have five-digit numbers beginning with 9, and fruits of genetically modified plants have five-digit numbers beginning with 8. <<

Terrie

Steve Rindsberg
08-11-2005, 12:09 PM
Sigh. And from there to produce that's been bred for square-sidedness to allow for easier printing.

Steve Rindsberg
08-11-2005, 12:21 PM
Alice, yes. Or Eve. With a laser-engraved serpent holding the "Eat me" sign?
I'm beginning to think this might be fun.

ktinkel
08-11-2005, 12:25 PM
Sigh. And from there to produce that's been bred for square-sidedness to allow for easier printing.Tomatoes already have been bred for standard size and roundness so they fit better in boxes.

Shane Stanley
08-11-2005, 03:17 PM
Sigh. And from there to produce that's been bred for square-sidedness to allow for easier printing.

OTOH, it might make it easier to find uncoated stock...

Shane