Today is the first day of spring and we are smack dab in the middle of March, my least favorite month for fruit. I’m generally tired of citrus by this point (although Pixie and Shasta tangerines can still catch my eye here and there) and the lovely berries are just beginning to show up but still tend to be hit or miss on flavor. So when I spotted a new apple in the grocery store this last week, I was truly puzzled. I mean to my mind, apples generally fall in to autumn territory and maybe a touch of winter, but that’s it. How naive, Miss Maven. How naive.
So I’m walking through one of the 8 or 20 grocery stores I generally visit and there she was, the Lady Alice apple just innocently tucked in next to the common Fuji and Granny Smiths. I wasn’t looking for apples but I guess I can’t help myself at this point. My eye went right to this bright yellow beauty with pretty red blush. What in the world? I greedily grabbed a whole bag full – as if someone was going to pop up and swipe this mirage of fruit right out from under me. Oddly, everyone else just seemed to shop like normal. Could I possibly be the only one who could see the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow? How lucky!
It turns out this apple is a sweet, crunchy and juicy delight. Rainier Fruit Company and Adam, my new favorite apple expert over at Adam’s Apples, both explain how this is an apple that truly is designed for March and not a result of some weird storing shenanigans that give us fruit out of season. So if you spot them, now is the time! Go go go. I hear there is a limited supply that doesn’t last long.
Lady Alice Apples
Creamy yellow, slightly statuesque apple with variegated red and peach coloring. White flesh that didn’t brown the entire time I shot photos (unusual).
Faint grassy smell.
Crispy and juicy with a super satisfying bite (not airy like Fujis).
Bright, sweet apple flavor, rich in honey with a little hint of tartness.
OVERALL Overall Rating:
This isn’t a complicated apple with lots of nuance, but it is sweet and refreshing with out being super sweet. The texture is fantastic like so many of the new varieties. And since it is one of the few varieties looking good in the middle of spring, I highly recommend it.
According to this site, of which I have no business knowing the accuracy or not, one reference to Lady Alice in history revolves around Ms. Alice Lisle, who was tried for treason in 1685. Apparently she was involved in some sort of rebellion against King James II and he went on an aggressive tirade known as the Bloody Assizes, a series of court hearings where the elderly and respected Lady Alice was the first to be tried. I bring this up only so that we can all be thankful that the word “assizes” did not survive in to our current vocabulary, because no matter how I pronounce that word and particularly that phrase, it seems grossly inappropriate.
I *just* bought some of these at Sam’s Club this weekend. My sister thought they tasted like bread. I kinda did, too, but maybe it was just the one apple in the lot that tasted like that. The next one I had was much more apple-y.
@tessler — Fascinating. If you read the comments over on Adam’s blog that I link to in the post, they mention a starchy quality as well for some they got in February. He mentions trying to hold on to them for a few weeks and I guess they may sweeten up. Sounds like this apple may be inconsistent.
My experience was almost exactly like yours. I spotted a very different looking apple in the apple section of the supermarket. I bought 8 apples and upon entering my car in the parking lot, picked up one to try. It was so wonderful that I went right back in and bought a dozen more. Alas, that was my only opportunity to see and/or buy Lady Alice in 2014. I have told many friends to watch for it and I will be looking for it again in late winter.