True, our small apple tree might not produce a crop big enough to warrant a large juice-making session, but when I went out there yesterday and started picking I did get a large bowl of apples. (The bowl is 40cm across, so it holds a fair few apples.)
The tree was here when we bought the garden, so it is now the apple I’d have chosen. It is a Lobo, which is all right, but I’d have preferred either an Ingrid Marie or a Cox’s orange, the former being – to me – the quintessential Danish apple and the latter being sweet like candy. When I was a child I preferred Cox’s orange over any other apple, and the dog we had at the time agreed with me. In fact, she wouldn’t eat ANY other apples, which was a bit bizarre for a dog that otherwise seemed to eat anything she could lay her paws on…
So… Does anybody know if lobo apples will keep well? To me they seem rather like the sort of apple you need to eat straight-away, but I might be wrong.
I’ll bring the lot back to Copenhagen with me, since The Flâneur Husband has requested an apple pie, and if the internet provided me with NO information whatsoever about how to store lobo apples, at least it told me that they are very popular for making apple pie with in Canada!
Speaking of storing apples…
Each of these huge crates is full of fruit waiting to be processed before it can end up in a neat plastic bag in your shopping cart, and it really was an amazing sight. In the Danish plant alone they process 36,000 tons of fruit each year; that’s a LOT of fruit salads, pies, jams, cakes, and whatever else you could think of!!!
The company started out as a small family farm with an orchard, and the present owner’s father had the idea to collect fruit from neighbouring farms and sell it to retailers back in 1943. It’s still a family business, but now they also have processing plants in Poland and deliver to most European countries as well as to Australia, Chile and other far-flung places.
But I was talking about apples… Remember how I showed you a picture of two small kids throwing apples into an old bath tub to wash them? Well, here it was done in a slightly more impressive way:
A clever piece of machinery transported the apples from the huge boxes and into a canal of water were soft brushes cleaned the apples, and this was very impressive until we reached the next step:
Swimming along merrily in another set of canals, the apples are then sorted by size and directed into these swimming lanes that are released one by one so each crate of prepared apples contain the same standard of apples.
We then passed the vast storage rooms for the clean fruit. Fruit like apples and pears will actually keep completely fresh for at least 6 months when stored professionally, so when you buy an apple in May it might have been harvested in August originally and kept in an oxygen-free storage room like this one for months on end without loosing too much of its freshness. Still, when you buy apples in May or June, remember how much energy has been spent to keep that fruit fresh; each of these storage units holds 100 tons of fruit, and each is cooled down to 3 degrees Celsius and kept free of oxygen; that doesn’t happen without a serious energy consumption…
Anyway, I buy apples in May, too, so it’s not like I’m sitting too firmly on my high horse. Just be conscious of it, okay?
However, when we buy apples in the supermarket they tend to come in slightly smaller portions than the 1-ton crates above, so here’s the next step:
And there you have it. Your little bag of apples is ready to be sent to the supermarket for you to buy it.
I must say, though, that much as I enjoyed the visit and was awed by the amazing machinery, I think I still prefer to was apples by hand. At least as long as I don’t have to wash 36,000 tons of them!