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You won’t find this Apple in your Grocery Store

Big, beautiful, crisp, delicious, everything an apple should be and then some, but if you’re looking to find this in your grocery store, forget about it

Why?  This apple is a “cull.”  It, and its siblings were culled from the apples the farmer sends to the grocery store because it was . . . wait for it . . . too big.  That’s right, size does matter, and with apples, bigger is not necessarily better.

Fortunately for us, Jim and I stumbled upon these apples and the farmer who grew them, at a roadside stand near Lake Chelan.  We obtained a plastic grocery bag full of these honeycrisp apples, about 8-10 lbs worth for only $5.  And there were many more bags just like them.

Normally, when you think of “culls” – if you think about them at all – the typical image is of bruised fruit, not pretty enough for the store, but perfect for the juice factory.  In other words, culls usually have defects.  Things like bruising, punctures, holes made by birds or worms, etc.  One common culling category, however, is “off shape.”  That’s right, if it’s too big or too small, it’s not suitable for shipping to the stores.

This practice seems a bit silly to me, not to mention wasteful.  What do you think?  When shopping, does size matter to you? 

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9 Responses

  1. Very interesting post!

  2. Bigger usually equals modified, or mostly water, which means no flavor. I tried to pick fruit and vegetables that look the same in size as they did 80 years ago.

  3. Wow, insane that they reject them for size…Great post 🙂
    If I am preparing a dish that needs consistency in size, I would be more than happy to a few minutes to hand pick and use the rest for something else…

  4. It’s crazy that appearance means more than flavor.

  5. That’s a bit ridiculous! We are going to Whidbey this weekend and I will be on the lookout for some farm stands…hopefully there will be some honeycrisp from the east side!

  6. We are so out of whack. This practice is one more reason.

  7. Isn’t it amazing to see the fruits and vegetables that are considered “unsuitable” for stores? I’ve bought and enjoyed so many of these fruits and vegetables that while not looking the prettiest, sure do taste incredible! It looks like you two make a great find with these apples! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Nothing wrong with those apples, in fact, I prefer fruits and vegetables that are fresh and taste better than they look. Most store produce is raised to be shipped and look nice, but tastes nothing like what they were meant to be in the first place.

    Bon appetit!

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