Filtering by Tag: apple


My sudden and rather tiny goal in 2013 has been to try flavor-infused apples. Unfortunately, none of the supermarkets where I live carry any of these delightfully weird apples, so I've been pretty bummed out. Until today.

Passing through the fruits and veggies while grocery shopping, I discovered something new: a case of four grape-flavored apples.


Can you believe it?

I've only recently heard of flavored apples and, since I've always been a (probably unhealthy) fan of flavored things, I got really excited. A friend of mine, via Twitter, assured me that bubblegum-flavored apples are real - calling them "abomination apples." I see her point. In theory, it sounds like adding any foreign flavoring to fruits and veggies would be unhealthy.

I can't speak for the bubblegum ones, but these grape-flavored apples are apparently just as healthy as normal apples. On their highly information website, Grapple says this about the healthy quality of its apples:

"Our process does not add one bit of extra sugar, calories, carbs, etc. The apple still maintains its great natural supply of vitamins, minerals, nutrients & fiber. It's as healthy as if you just picked an apple off a tree."

Well, hey.

The packaging made me smile too; the little character on the front reminds me a bit of Grape Ape, from an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon in the late 1970's. You'll also notice that type of apple is Fuji - a pretty good type, though not my favorite. My blog tends to love apples, because I've done other posts on apples here and here.

P.S. Ironically enough, apples aren't my favorite fruit. Nowhere close. It's a tie between plums and mangoes. And strawberries come in third.

Even through the packaging, the grapples had a strong scent - it was delightful, like candy-sweet grapes. I hoped that my whole car would smell like grabbles by the time I made it home, but that didn't happen.

I felt it necessary to make a comparison between a grapple and another normal apple. So here they are, side by side:

The one on the left is the grapple and the one of the right is a Pink Lady (my favorite!). The grapple has a more rotund look. However, I was disappointed to learn that Grapples are only infused with grape flavor after arriving at the factory.... so that means that they are completely average Fuji apples. Nothing weird about them. I guess that's why they blend in so well with the other apples. 

The grapple was easy to cut through. I'm terrible with cutting things neatly, so it was a relief to almost effortlessly crack open the apple down the center. Doesn't that look neat? (I think so). As you can see, there's no alien markings or purple apple flesh in there. Boo. Well, I still have to taste it, right?
So, the taste. 

It's grape, man. But only a little bit. When I took the first bite, I got a splash of grape - kind of floral, actually - and then as I chewed, it tasted like a normal apple again. Rinse. Repeat. I'm surprised that the grape flavor isn't that strong, considering how grapey it smells through the packaging. Not that I'm disappointed. I feel like I really am eating something healthy that way - it's just got a grape kick to it at the very beginning, adding some spice to the apple-a-day regimen. 

I really really wanted to embed the clip from the Food Network show Unwrapped where Marc Summers explores the Grapple factory... but there's no "share" buttons. So if you'd like to know more about Grapples, demystifying them and all, please follow the link and watch the clip on the Grapple website HERE.

Fruit Salad: A Summertime Delicacy

One of my goals for this summer is to eat healthy.

It's so easy to eat quickly and badly during the school year - especially when you're stressed.  There's a huge paper bag of Smarties in my office, left over from when we gave them out to our students. There was so many left... and I managed to eat my way to the bottom within about two weeks. Mind you, it was during a time where final projects were colliding, grading grew to the size of a mountain, and last-minute events to go to filled up every space in my planner. So eating made sense. I was too hungry to leave the Smarties alone, haha.

Now that I'm home, there's more time to be slow and methodical in preparing food. I'm not a cook by any stretch of the imagination - if you watched me try to make something that did not involve a microwave, you'd probably laugh yourself to tears.

However, I do want to enjoy the few months I have of healthy eating before my last year of graduate school begins. So I started off with something simple: fruit salad.

If you've been reading this blog from the very beginning, you might remember an old post I made about apples. In it, I created a story about a wandering apple and also confessed, after periodic grocery shopping, that I've been in search of Pink Lady apples.

Well, I guess they're in season now. I found them. 

All this time, I thought I'd have to pick the apples out from a display, but it turns out that they've been neatly packaged! The bag describes the taste as "zippy and tart." Woah. So I've now learned what zippy tastes like.

So, these aren't Snow White apples, but they certainly look like they've come out a storybook. It must get its name from the pink blush of the skin - the little speckles on the sides also remind me of strawberries.

The taste, since we're on the subject, is really amazing. Some regular apples like Golden Delicious have a kind of dull taste to them - but Pink Ladies are very sweet, tart, and packs a punch of flavor. It's like I've never eaten an apple before this one, haha.

With the apples found, I decided to start on the fruit salad.

Chopping up ingredients for the salad: strawberries, bananas, watermelon, and assorted nuts like peanuts and almonds to toss on top.  

But of course, I didn't forget about the apple. For a regular bowl of fruit salad, I discovered that one apple is quite enough. I discovered this by chopping up and tossing in two apples, haha. 

Me and my apple-chopping moves. Actually,  I was really clumsy. It took me forever to chop the first apple in half. I need more practice. And, of course, where would I be without a Disney shirt? Nowhere, that's what. 

And then, when you toss 'em all together, it creates a very lovely fruit salad. The thing is, I got so hungry while making this that I ate it very fast. So I feel like, when I make more in the future, I need to do it on a full stomach. All that chopping and cutting was very relaxing though, and I enjoyed just concentrating on preparing the salad. My mind is always running and, even in my spare dozing time, I'm always thinking about writing. So to focus on something else for a bit was nice. 

Done! Believe me, the other fruits are in there. Just on the bottom, haha. All attempts to mix it had been thwarted by pieces of apple flying all over the place.

So ta-da! It's not the recipe post I imagined, but I think it does the job (considering how I eat out of a microwave and yet watch Food Network constantly). What are your plans for summer? What kinds of food will you make to beat the heat? 

The Wandering Apple

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, they say. But this apple rolled down the hill and left her sisters behind. Her father had called her a Pink Lady, but she knew in her heart that her heritage was strictly Empire. She wanted to go sailing on the aquamarine whale-roads and eat chocolate-filled croissants on rainy days. Staying in the shade of her mother-tree could offer her none of these experiences. So the apple had packed her bags and went away.

Dogs lapped at her shiny skin when she hitched a ride in the back of a dog-catcher's truck. Red-headed children used her as a ball while she waited for a neighborhood bus. An evil queen with a haughty mirror wanted to make her into a gift, but the noble apple refused.

The apple couldn't stay still. The world was too big to stay put. Every cloud, wildflower, and garbage receptacle passed through her head faster than film tape through a projector. Maybe apples were meant to sit under trees because they couldn't hold onto their own memories.

The apple could only carry her one desire with her: to see the world. And since she couldn't remember, the world, to her, remained entirely endless.

Okay, I swear I'm not hungry. Actually, I'm thinking about a tiny, curious memory I've kept with me, even though it happened a few weeks ago. Waiting for my family to gather fruits and veggies for the week, I wandered over to the small section of apples in the grocery store. As if in a trance, I picked some of them up and turned them in my hands so I could read their names.

It seems to me that there are so many types of apples in the world. When I think about it, I'm in awe. And the names can be very beautiful. I like to imagine that each apple has its own name, but I confess I've never asked one. I don't eat them as much as I should.