I've mentioned this in year's past, the University of Minnesota is quite big in the development of new apple varieties. They were the ones who created the Honey Crisp and Sweet Tango among others. We like to visit the Apple House a couple times in the fall to stock up for the winter. (If stored correctly, apples can last 3 - 4 months.)
Of course, they have all the big names as they come into season, like these Sweet Tango at $17.50 a 1/2 peck! (By the way, there is a limited supply so if you want Sweet Tangos, I'd get out there.)
We prefer to try some of the unnamed varieties for $8.45.
For our daily lunchtime apple, we went with the MN 1849. It is not too sweet and not too tart. It has a crisp texture and not too big. I prefer a smaller apple for eating. We really enjoyed this apple last year too.
There is a section where you can buy different varieties of apples by the pound if you don't want a 1/2 peck of just one. We picked up just enough of MN 1691 to make apple pie for our Labor Day picnic. This parent of the Zestor is tart and crisp. It isn't firm, so it cooks to a nice soft texture in pie. I love the tart apple flavor with the sugar and cinnamon in pie.
The Apple House is busily picking varieties as the are ripe. You can find an approximate list of when things will be in store here. You can also call their Apple House hotline 952-443-1409 for a daily update of what is available.
It's been a tough season for Minnesota apple growers with a late frost and hail storms, so we are certainly going to appreciate whatever bounty we can get.
The AppleHouse is located 1.5 miles west of the Arboretum entrance in Chanhassen on State Highway 5 and Rolling Acres Road. Visitors can shop from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. While there you can also purchase other seasonal vegetable, U of M cheeses and ready to bake apple pies plus apple and garden related gifts. If you're hungry while you're there you can enjoy a caramel apple sundae or a m&m studded caramel apple on the patio.
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