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Sunday, 23 April 2017

How Do You Like Them Apples?

You know how you go into the grocery store and you don't need to buy laundry detergent, or a lot of meat, or something from the vitamin aisle and you think this won't be a big grocery bill this week? Then you get to the checkout and you're helping to load up your bags and the sweet girl at the counter announces your total and it's still over $200.00. So you pay for your groceries, then as you are leaving, you check over your bill and you see that you paid $13.74 for four apples. So you assume it's a mistake and you catch the eye of someone important and they say, sure they will check that for you, and you find out it isn't a mistake and they really do cost that much.



What kind of apple costs $3.44 per apple?? Well, I'll tell you: honeycrisp. Yes, I was almost the proud owner of some incredibly expensive apples. However, I decided I didn't need what seemed to be gold infused apples, and they gave me my money back and I went home apple-less.

source


After I got over my shock, I decided to find out why one needs to decide if they want to make a significant investment when they buy apples. It turns out that although Honeycrisp apples are truly delicious, they are incredibly hard to grow. In fact they are a huge pain in the backside for apple growers. Here are some articles that I read, from which I got my facts. This one  as well as this other one .  The trees are prone to breaking easily, so they have to be trellised, the fruit can't just be harvested one time when they ripen, instead they tend to ripen at different times, so they are usually harvested three times over the season. Honeycrisp bruise very easily due to their thin skin and even their own stems cause bruising so the harvesters need to hand clip the stems very short. They are also prone to a vast amount of diseases like cedar apple rust, black rot, cork spot, bitter pit, and soft scald.

These very finicky apples also must be stored at very precise temperatures when they are first harvested to prevent a whole host of other problems. This all adds up to extra costs for the grower which of course get passed on to the consumer. I don't begrudge the growers. If I had to mess around with a plant that was that problematic, I probably wouldn't bother. Just like flowers in my gardens, it is survival of the fittest. If a plant is not growing well and has to be moved, or treated specially, I don't waste my time trying to save it. But apple growers know that consumers love the texture and eating experience associated with Honeycrisp apples, so they deal with the hassels of growing them.

However, at $13.74 for four apples, I decided I didn't need to be an apple "foody". I was really only planning on cutting them up to take them to work as part of my lunch. I can certainly do that with a lowly Mackintosh, or maybe a Gala for the fraction of the cost.

In general, I find that groceries are very expensive. Importing produce from other countries so that we can have fresh fruit throughout the year results in expensive fruit and vegetables. I buy berries every week. They are a big part of my diet. But good lord, sometimes they are ridiculously expensive. Sometimes I don't want to spend $4.99 on a tiny box of blueberries, and so I don't, and I stick with just strawberries instead. There are many fruits that I won't buy during the winter months even though they are in the grocery stores. Peaches and melons tend to be hard, tasteless things unless "in season". I grow some of my own vegetables so I don't spend much when my own garden is producing, but of course that is just for a short amount of time. Winter is long here.

So there you go. Honeycrisp are so very good and so very expensive,  because they are so very annoying to grow. Happy eating!


31 comments:

  1. I live in Southern California. Where I live is pretty much the citrus capitol aside from Florida. I one time, during soccer season, went to get oranges for the team snack. Shocked when the checker said $17 for a small bag. I guess the were "out of season" but those suckers went back to the display. Who buys that????

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    1. That's also a crazy price! I would have thought citrus is always in season where you live.

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  2. I'm always shocked at the price of apples and berries, two fruits I'd like to eat, but I refuse to pay the price. So generally this time of year it's bananas and melons---Lord knows where they come from, but they're reasonable, not cheap, but reasonable.

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    1. Hi Mac n' Janet. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  3. That's a crazy price for an apple! No way.

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  4. Honeycrisp are my favorites but they are more expensive. Not so bad in apple country during apple season but once it gets past fall, the price seems to go up. Well, you will enjoy them all the more, I hope -- especially since it sounds like it might be awhile before you have them again!

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    1. I didn't buy them. Someone else can enjoy them, not me. I still have half a bag of sad little mackintosh.

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    2. We've been buying a newer variety called Red Prince. Very nice indeed!

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  5. Who buys such expensive fruit? Do they actually sell it all? Incredible price

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    1. Somebody must be buying them, or they wouldn't stock them, I'm sure.

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  6. Ouch!! I hate buying fresh berries in the middle of winter though. Living in the Ottawa Valley, we have lots of pick your own options in the high season. We try to get lots into the freezer. Once they run out, I watch for frozen berries on sale. I love my spinich/yogurt/berry smoothies!

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    1. I make spinach and berry smoothies as well! I throw a little protein powder and vanilla almond milk in too.

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  7. HOLY MOLY! That is very expensive for a few apples. I would have returned them, too! Like you, I love berries - and most fruit, really but I shop according to what's most affordable when I'm in the market. Occasionally I'll treat myself to something a little bit more expensive but I usually stick to our budget. Prices at the market seem to have gone up quite a bit in the past few years.

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    1. I also like to buy what I can get PC points for as well. Do you do that?

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  8. Honeycrisp are my favourite. But only on sale. 🍎

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    1. They are very good, so I understand why people like them so much.

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  9. Red Delicious have been on for $1 a kgm at No Frills recently, but I got a shock when my one avocado cost $1.75 this week!

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  10. WOW that was expensive for 4 apples. I don't know how a family with 2-3 growing kids can afford to eat, let alone the hydro to cook the food. I also shop/buy to gain PC points, then use for treats of fresh produce - it baffles me that summer Ontario strawberries are SO expensive.

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    1. Thankfully, I grow my own strawberries and freeze the extras. I do buy a lot of fresh strawberries throughout the rest of the year, though.

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  11. You can find specials on them though. When I worked produce departments I loved opening the boxes. I remember the first time. Most apples don't really have a smell without taking a bite, but HC do

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    1. I used to live across from a small apple orchard. Sometimes I was in the sorting shed. All you could smell was apples! That's sad that they don't even smell like apples anymore.

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  12. I marvel at the price of food. I will go into the store and come out with two bags that will be near $100. We buy our blueberries in season, freeze them and vacuum seal them. Maybe it is vegetables and fruit designed for shelf life, or maybe it is my age, but food doesn't taste as good as it use to.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I absolutely agree - food is engineered to last longer, withstand long truck rides, ripen later...
      It's the same reason my Valentines Day roses had absolutely no scent whatsoever. They are designed more for big long lasting blooms. We need to stop messing with stuff!!

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  13. I love Honeycrisps, but can only afford a few when they get to about half of what you paid for them. It's still a luxury item even then.

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  14. Have you ever tried a grapple? It looks like an apple but has a strange grape taste. I am not sure it is altogether natural.

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  15. Yes, those HoneyCrisps can be high. Crazy, that.

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  16. I do love a good HoneyCrisp but not at that price! I've been getting Galas this year and I find them just as good but a heck of a lot cheaper! Love your blog, added you to my blogroll so I can keep up with you! Have a great weekend!

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  17. Whoa! That is incredible. I always get the cheapest apples because I just juice them. Typically only pay 88 cents a pound, sometimes 99 cents.

    A Honeycrisp apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away diet better work because you wouldn't be able to afford health insurance!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment.

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