Bad Apple


“Waxy, not the kind that’s obvious, but the kind you find out after you’ve already taken a bite, and remains on your tongue, unyielding. A roundness that gives way to unexpected mealiness under your teeth. You spit it out, then throw it in the garbage where it makes a satisfying thud as it hits the bottom. It still had a sticker on it when you took a bite, what made you think it would be different from any of a thousand tasteless red apples you’ve subjected yourself to over the course of a lifetime? Who thinks of these things? Why hasn’t there been a Great Red Apple Uprising? There are many delicious apples out there, and none of them come from Jewel. You knew this but somehow the hum of the fluorescent lighting, the mist of the automatic spray machines, and the piped in recording of “singin’ in the rain” suckered you in, once again.”

From my friend Jessica Palmer who has recently started blogging at Buttered Noodles. I became an obsessive fan of her writing 15 years ago when we both lived in Chicago — she had a column in our local paper Babble. I can’t tell you how happy I am that she’s writing again and begged her to let me include this short entry here. I just love her and miss her writing terribly.


  1. says

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, thanks Matt!!!!!!!!!!


    Mwah! (kiss noise)

  2. says

    Red Delicious are grrrrrross. I am forever loyal to the Jazz. But that could perhaps just be that me-personified-as-pastry would be a Jazz-y little tart. Or at least that’s what I like to think. 😉

  3. says

    You know, its funny, I was thinking about this exact subject last night … is it that I have gotten bigger or the apples have gotten smaller? How I miss the gigantic Rome and Red and Golden Delicious apples by the sackful in the Autumns in Northwest Arkansas … sigh.

  4. Sarah says

    A friend and I were just having this conversation. I hate commercial apples – they always look beautiful and taste awful. I had heard somewhere awhile back that when commercial growers started growing for “big” and “red” (ie, red delicious, which aren’t,) they inadvertently bred out the very genetics that actually made the apples taste good.

    Luckily I live in New England, where if you look very carefully, you can find old abandoned orchards of nameless heirloom type apples (if the deer don’t get them first.) Some of the most delightful pies and cider I’ve ever had has come from a bag of ugly pedigree-less apples.

    I like your friend’s writing, and will be sure to go check out the blog.

  5. says

    I read your post first thing this morning and then proceeded to NOT enjoy a particularly awful apple. I’m glad to know others get “suckered” by the endless variety of apples for our choosing.

  6. says

    ve had delicious red apples before… Red delicious maybe. or maybe they were golden. but whatever the case may be, i find that most apples get progressively less flavorful the further they are out of season. which ultimately made me decide that the courgette cake that matt and i shot for In the Kitchen With is best when the apples are in season, rather than when the zucchini are in season.

    but i feel this same way about bad oranges.

    OH a bad orange with the tasteless almost rice-like bits inside the communion wafer thick membranes is SO MUCH worse than a tasteless apple.

  7. says

    And that there my friend is the exact reason I do not do Apples!!!! It is a let down EVERY time. I do not do strawberries either, because no matter how beautifully plump, well formed and colored they are 9 times out of 10 sour as all get out.

  8. says

    Matt…I love your site… I found it just messing around on the net… You have won a Texas girl’s heart with your blog!! Love it!!

  9. says

    Yeugh, I really hate dry, mealy apples. So much promise, so much disappointment. I find “Pink Lady” and “Braeburn” to be the safest option in my local store.

  10. says

    I don’t know how to put this without seeming generic, superficial, or even annoyingly enthused, but I love your blog. The photos, the humor, the culinary confidence. I love your lack of pretension (although I’m sure, with your ability, it would be merited). Your site is art. There ought to be greater accolades for the dot com canvas.

  11. louise says

    i am a baker. When I’m handling, preparing or zesting fruit i have to wear latex or rubber gloves because the wax makes me breakout in a very painful rash. I even have to use the stores plastic bag to pickup the fruit. This makes for more accidents in the kitchen.

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