Posted by: lornasass | November 9, 2010


I keep running into contemporary reincarnations of Johnny Appleseed.

It’s great fun.

As the days get shorter, one of the major rewards of fall is tart, crisp, freshly picked apples, and I have been munching my way through many varieties.  It’s a thrill that so many heirloom apples are coming back into the marketplace.

James of Tree-licious Orchards loves his apples.

James, the 7th generation New Jersey farmer at Tree-Licious orchards, who shows up at my local farmers market every Sunday, cannot contain his enthusiasm for his 70+ varieties of heirloom apples.  And I, having tasted his russets, winesaps, and spitzenbergs have come to share his enthusiasm.  Each week I look forward to buying and tasting what he has and each week the selection changes.

Can you imagine the pleasure of tasting one of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apples?

Last night I attended a local apple, cheese, and cider tasting at Jimmy’s 43 in the East Village.  The tasting was expertly run by Diana Pittet. Eric seems to know as much about apples as James does and his mission is to spread the word on heirloom varieties, especially the most prized Newtown Pippin, first grown in Queens (yes, Queens) and later in Virginia where is was re-named the Albemarle Pippin.

Baard, founder of Free Apple Trees! gave us four varieties of apple to try, including Northern Spy, Margil, Jonathan, and of course the Newtown Pippin. We had a good time matching apples and cheese.

Eric Baard, founder of Newtown Pippin Restoration and Celebration.

Four types of apple cider, ranging from sweet and fruity  to mild and yeasty, were offered by Crispin Cider. An outrageously delicious Raisin-Haters Apple Chili Chutney was provided by Sweet Deliverance Chutney Co. The superb cheeses came from Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Essex Street market.

Altho I loved the silken washed-rind raw cow and goat cheese made by Twig Farm in Vermont, My favorite was the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. A slice of that dipped into the Apple Chutney and washed down with a little cider and I was in apple heaven.

Long live Johnny Appleseed.



  1. What a great post. It’s apple season and it’s so great to go beyond the Delicious, which often isn’t delicious at all.

    I also have been so enjoying a variety of apples lately.

    I was disappointed that they can’t grow organic apples in Massachusetts because it’s too moist. But now I am back in California and I have many to choose from. Thomas Jefferson is one of my heroes, and we share a birthday.

    • wow, what fun that you share a b’day with TJ. tx for being in touch.

  2. Your portrait of Eric is crunchy and tart: change his 2010 garb for Elizabethan regalia and he could star in a Shakespearian comedy without problems. Maybe even a rethinking of HAMLET with the apple standing in for poor Yorick?

  3. Apples and cheese- my favorite combination! The tasting sounds wonderful, and we are glad to hear that you loved the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar! Heaven, indeed 🙂

    • Yes, that’s a cheese to be really proud of! Hope to visit you one day.

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