Apples are everywhere right now. If you’re lucky enough to live near an apple orchard, you can pick your own. Or, even just for a fun outing, you can go there, with the apples already picked for you, and you can enjoy some great, freshly pressed apple cider. Even better, hold out for some cider donuts. A cider donut is truly a religious experience.
If you’re anywhere near Western Mass, go to Atkin’s Farms for their apples and donuts. Or, go a bit west, to Belchertown, to Cold Spring Orchard, which is part of UMass/Amherst, and check out their apples and pears. Cold Spring has some experimental varieties that you won’t find anywhere else. But their pears are the best I’ve had in years. Usually, even at high-end markets, the pears are from Washington, and are picked when they’re not quite ripe. By the time we get them, they’re still so firm that you can chip a tooth on them. Then, there seems to be a one-day window of opportunity for ripeness. Then they turn to mush. So, like all things local, go grab some fresh pears. Like tomatoes and corn, they’re only around for a short while.
See you in the orchards!