I love dropping into ABC Radio Melbourne to chat to Clare Bowditch about food. But Clare was on holidays so this time, I chatted to David Astle about all things apples.
David is an amazing wordsmith and crossword creator, among many other talents. When I go camping in summer, my camp buddies and I have fun tackling cryptic crosswords together but we have to be feeling very brave and smart to embark on a ‘DA’ puzzle. In our chat today, I was slightly worried that DA would stump me with a highly technical question or throw poetic allusions my way and watch them fly straight over my head. Why was I concerned? All he did was blindfold me and lead me through an apple taste test! Listen in below.
- Apples are a $600 million industry in Australia, with 300,000 tonnes of production, making them the largest table fruit category.
- Victoria is the chief apple growing state, producing around 45% of Australia’s apples
- Australians eat an average of one apple a week all year around (I thought it would be more!)
- There are 7000 varieties of apples, most of them not grown commercially. About 100 are grown commercially and new varieties do pop up all the time – Jazz & Kanzi are two crisp, juicy, red-skinned apples that I love
- My favourite cooking apples are Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Golden Delicious holds it shape and Granny Smith turns to mush – both are good for different purposes.
- I love the sound of crisp apples, both when I tap them and when I bite into them.
- Storing apples in the fridge keeps them crisper
- Apples and wax. When picked, apples have a waxy coating which helps preserve them. In a commercial setting, it’s washed off during the packing process. Some apples have a waxed coating applied to increase shelf life and shine. This added edible wax is either made from shellac (insects) or Brazilian palm trees.
Savoury apple ideas
- Cut into matchsticks for coleslaw with cabbage and carrot, dressed with apple cider vinegar, mint and parmesan
- Grilled and served alongside roast pork (an alternative to classic apple sauce)
- Apple and cheese sandwiches (or more civilised: thinly sliced on a cheese platter)
- Waldorf salad: apple, celery, walnuts, grapes
Breakfast apple ideas
- Grated and mixed with oats, nuts and yoghurt to make bircher muesli
- Stewed and stirred through porridge
Sweet apple ideas
- Apple crumble
- Apple, pear and bay leaf cake from my Ladies’ Lunch menu.
- Tarte tatin – the best thing ever.
Looking for more recipes and videos? Head on over to Dani Valent Cooking for cooking inspiration.