Celebrating Virginia Apples: The Magic of Rappahannock County, Virginia

Ellen Haas Health Guide
  • Local Virginia apples are something special to anyone that eats them, as well as the pride of the farmers of Rappahannock County, Virginia. On a spectacular fall Saturday afternoon I drove from Washington, DC down to Rappahannock, Virginia to join a few friends for a weekend get-away at the home of a good friend.


    The sun was shining on the golden and red leaves of the trees and the crisp air made it perfect for hiking and visiting the local apple orchards. We combined our love of food and the beautiful countryside.



    The apples of Virginia are well known for their taste and versatility. The warm days, cool nights and a rich deep soil nurtured by consistent rainfall makes Virginia's climate ideal for growing many apple varieties. Virginia's choices include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome, Stayman, Gala, Winesap,York, Granny Smith, Jonathan and Ginger Gold. I enjoy them all, but I do have a preference for the sweetness of Galas.

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    Our timing was perfect because the Virginia apple harvest was in full swing. It begins in July and extends through early November. An average of 5-6 million bushels of apples are produced annually by Virginia growers. Though substantial it is a small percentage of our national crop, which is over 255 million bushels annually.


    On Sunday morning, we visited Roy's Orchard and Fruit Market a few miles up the road from my friend's house. It is run by Roy and Janet Alther and we had a chance to chat and taste their wide variety of local fruit. As he showed me around the orchard, Roy told me that he has 1500-2000 apple and pear trees. In the picture below, you can see how proud Roy is of his just picked apples.



    The nutrition of apples is something to be proud of too. You know the old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well that is true because apples are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, and if you leave the skin on, they provide extra fiber. All this and they only have 80 calories!


    But it is the taste of these local treasures that are a cause to celebrate. Is there nothing better as a delicious, afternoon snack than a fresh, local apple? Add a cut-up apple to your salad with goat cheese and walnuts and delight in the crispy crunch. Apples are a sweet addition to main dishes like the ones at Ellen's Healthy Table below. And apple pie, apple crisp and apple strudel are magnificent ways to end a fall dinner.


    From Ellen's Healthy Table:

    Top fall recipes that showcase the best apples you can find!

    Get more delicious apple recipes from FoodFit.com
Published On: November 01, 2007

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