What is going on with our selection of imported fruit in Manila, specifically apples? Who is behind the conspiracy to import the mealiest, most tasteless, inedible apples the planet has to offer? Why have our choices been so drastically curtailed and the quality of fruit sunk to the level next to that given to cows to munch on? I am not amused. I have not had a decent apple more than once in the past 12 months! I am not just being bitchyâ€¦I want better apples!!! Given all the modern advances in freight and importation rules that allow us to have the latest original Zara t-shirt for just PHP495 flown in from Europe 3 days after it is sewn (when the local bazaar is selling supposedly overrun GAP t-shirts — read seconds, fell of the truck, fake –at PHP550), it boggles the mind that we cannot get decent applesâ€¦
I love local tropical fruit and write about them frequently, but I also love western fruit and having spent a large chunk of my life in New York and New England, I also miss my apples! Itâ€™s the tail end of the Fall season in the Northern Hemisphere and in the week before Halloween Farmers Markets across the U.S. will have a bumper crop of freshly harvested apples. The later they are harvested, generally the sweeterâ€¦ Northern Spy, Golden Russet, Winsesap, Mutsu, Fuji, Macoun, Macintosh, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome, Granny Smithâ€¦ there are dozens upon dozens of varieties of this fantastic fruit in the U.S. alone. I havenâ€™t even mentioned the â€œoff-seasonâ€ fruit from Australia and New Zealand like their delicious royal galas and the unique and tasty varieties from Europe. Instead, we get the worst quality fruit assembled from the Americas, China and Buddha knows where else!
A good apple is crisp, sweet and tart at the same time, juicy, delicious. Different apples for different usesâ€¦ Northern Spy or Granny Smith for apple pies, Mutsus or Macouns for eating, etc. In the past two months I have gotten the WORST apples on the planet from sources throughout Manila. They were probably harvested last year and kept in refrigerated warehouses in Seattle and when they werenâ€™t sold for 9 months they were shipped out to here. You can taste the cardboard they were stored in. They are mealy, soft, disgusting. Not only are they old, they are also physically the worst grade possible. I wouldnâ€™t mind bad looks if the apples were fresh but you know you are getting crap when they are very small, misshapen and mealy and wormy. These are apples even apple juice would not be made out of!
Even if you hunt through the importers in Divisoria, they only carry these horrific apples that mainly now come from China (cheaper daw). Gee whiz, we import 1,843 different labels of wine, you think someone could bring in some premium fruit??? You have to think conspiracy when an hour flight away in Hong Kong the groceries are groaning with premium apples, the same is true in Singapore and even Jakarta supermarkets have a better selection. Harumpphhâ€¦ I am truly annoyed. I just paid PHP25 a piece for mediocre mangoes but no one seems to be able to land a good apple in Makati for 50 U.S. cents each when they cost less than 10 cents at the farm??? If you are living in the U.S. Northeast please do me a favor this week and bite into a brilliant, freshly harvested apple and send the experience to me telepathicallyâ€¦ thank you.