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You are the apple of my eye...and stomach! | Families

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You are the apple of my eye...and stomach!

Walk into any grocery store these days and you'll be confronted with a dizzying array of apples.  Although available year around, apples especially evoke the essence of fall:  apple harvest, apple cider, apple bobbing, caramel apples, etc.  And why not?  The crisp, sweetness of an apple in the fall makes me think of cooler days, bonfires, and changing leaves.

According to the Virginia State Apple Board (www.virginiaapples.org), Virginia is known for many varieties of apples, including Fuji, Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Winesap, and Rome.  Each variety has its own distinct taste and use, so now is the time of year to experiment!  The tart taste of a Granny Smith apple is completely different from the sweet, juicy Red Delicious apple.

And don't just rely on the grocery store to get your apples.  Take a drive through Loudoun and Rappahannock Counties to the west of our area to find plenty of apple orchards and stands.  There is nothing like buying an apple fresh off the tree!

Finally, think beyond the apple pie!  Most people associate apples with sweet desserts or as a handy snack.  I like to use apples (and other sweet fruits) in my savory dishes.  Recently, I pan-seared pork chops with onions, raisins, and sliced Rome apples.  The sweetness of the apples and raisins provided a great contrast to the flavorful pork and onions.


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