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Anna apples are medium- to large-sized and cylindrical in shape. They are light green to yellow in color with a red blush. Its flesh is juicy, firm, crisp, and creamy white. Some have described the apple as seeming to crackle when it’s bitten into. The flavor is balanced, mild, and sweet-tart, similar to the Gala. However, the flavor and texture can vary significantly with ripeness. Greener, less ripe fruits are firmer and fresh, while red, riper fruits tend toward mushiness and a sweeter and more complex flavor. The Anna apple tree produces a particularly heavy crop of fruit.
Anna apples are available during the early and mid-summer months.
The Anna apple is an early-season variety of Malus domestica developed in Israel. It is one of the first apples of the season, sometimes ripe by late June or early July. The Anna claims the Golden Delicious as one of its parents.
Anna apples contain trace amounts of Vitamins A and B as well as some iron, calcium, and phosphorus. They are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which has been shown to help prevent heart disease and promote healthy digestion.
An all-purpose variety, the Anna apple can be used cooked or raw and in both sweet and savory preparations. Because it keeps its shape when cooked, Annas are great in baked goods. Layer slices in tarts and pies, chop and add to stuffing, or slow cook to make sauces and soups. Diced Anna apple will add sweetness and moisture to cakes, muffins, and breads. Their crisp texture shines in raw preparations: dice and add to coleslaw and chopped salads or slice thin and add to sandwiches and burgers. Anna apples will keep in the refrigerator for two or three weeks.
Most apples around the world need at least 500 to 1000 hours of time below 45° to ripen properly. There are a few varieties that have been specially bred to ripen with fewer chilled hours, such as Anna. These apples are able to be grown in an expanded region, enjoyed in non-traditional apple growing areas such as southern California. Most low-chill varieties are relatively recent, although there are a few that are considered antique varieties adapted to warmer climates.
The Anna apple was first developed in Israel in the 1950's at Kibbutz Ein Shemer by Abba Stein, and released in 1959. It was developed to be a low-chill variety and thrives in moderate, even desert, climates where the fall and winter months rarely drop below freezing. They thrive in apple growing regions of the Southern United States, particularly California and Texas.
Recipes that include Anna Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.