Philo Gold Apples
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Philo Gold apples are a medium to large varietal, averaging 7 to 9 centimeters in diameter, and have a conical to oblong shape, tapering slightly at the base. The apple’s skin is thin, sometimes appearing translucent, and has a delicate nature, easily bruised or damaged. The surface also features patches of brown russet, tiny lenticels, and the occasional red blush overlaid on a pale yellow to golden base hue. Underneath the surface, the white to ivory flesh is fine-grained, aqueous, and firm with a crisp and crunchy consistency. The flesh also encases a small central core filled with tear-drop-shaped black-brown seeds. Philo Gold apples emit a delicate scent and have a sweet-tart, honeyed flavor with refreshing tart notes combined with mellow spice and apple cider-like nuances.
Philo Gold apples are available in the early fall through early winter.
Philo Gold apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a variety of golden delicious apples belonging to the Rosaceae family. The naturally grown apples are a brand name for golden delicious apples exclusively produced by the Philo Apple Farm in Northern California. The Philo Apple Farm, a farm-based in Philo, Northern California, is run by the children of Sally and Don Schmitt, the founders of the world-famous French Laundry restaurant. Philo Gold apples are grown on some of the first golden delicious trees planted in California and are only found through this farm, sold on a small scale into fresh markets and through distributors. The apples are a specialty variety famous for their sweet flavor, crisp texture, and bright appearance. Unlike other golden delicious apples that are harvested early and left in cold storage to develop a flat flavor and softer texture, Philo Gold apples are ripened on the tree, producing a sweet, concentrated taste. The farm’s cooler climate also causes the skin to be thin, releasing the apple’s nectar-like aroma and increasing the sugar content within the flesh. Philo Gold apples are harvested by hand, never waxed, and hand-packed to ensure quality. The apples are so highly regarded that consumers and chefs ask for the apples by their marketing name to distinguish them from other golden delicious types in markets.
Philo Gold apples are a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, folate to develop healthy red blood cells, copper to build connective tissues, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The apples also provide vitamin K to assist in faster wound healing, manganese to promote calcium absorption, phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth, and contain other amounts of magnesium and calcium.
Philo Gold apples are a versatile fruit, able to be used in raw and cooked preparations, and the ripe apples have a sweet-tart, spice-like flavor often consumed straight, out of hand. The apples can be tossed into salads, sliced into slaws, or used as a crisp topping over grain bowls, parfaits, and other breakfast dishes. In addition to their crisp nature, Philo Gold apples have a sweet flavor that can be incorporated into juices, ciders, and smoothies, displayed on charcuterie plates, or pureed into applesauce. The apples can also be baked into cakes, pies, galettes, crisps, crumbles, and bread, cooked with browned butter to create a savory-sweet topping for ice cream, or the apples can be sliced and dried for extended use. In the French Laundry, chef Thomas Keller has previously used Philo Gold apples in his croquettes and sorbet and listed Sally Schmitt’s well-known “Cranberry and Apple Kuchen” in his “The French Laundry Cookbook,” published in 1999. Philo Gold apples are also incorporated into tarte tatin in the Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, another restaurant operated by Thomas Keller. Philo Gold apples pair well with coconut, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, kale, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, nuts including walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios, and herbs such as parsley, mint, and rosemary. Whole, unwashed Philo Gold apples will keep for several weeks when stored in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. In professional cold storage, the apples will last 3 to 6 months.
Philo Gold apples are most well-known among consumers who shop at the San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. The farmer’s market was established in 1993 as a place for farmers and consumers to gather in the city, and the market is currently run by the nonprofit CUESA, the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture. The market is also held in the famous Ferry Building, a structure built in 1898 that was once the center for visitors arriving in the city by train. This building is considered one of the landmarks of San Francisco and has become a mecca of artisan food and produce. The Philo Apple Farm has been selling apples and homemade items for almost the same amount of time that the market has been open, and Philo Gold apples specifically have developed somewhat of a cult following among marketgoers. The Philo Apple Farm stall also sells homemade syrups, vinegar, jams, jelly, and ciders. One of their signature juices incorporates Philo Gold apples with tart green apples to develop a sweet and tangy, pleasant beverage.
Philo Gold apples are a marketing name for golden delicious apples cultivated on the Philo Apple Farm, a rustic farm in Philo, a small town in Mendocino County, Northern California. The apple’s parentage is unknown, but golden delicious apples were first discovered growing as a chance seedling on the farm of Anderson H. Mullins in Clay County, West Virginia. Golden delicious apples were later marketed through Stark Brothers Nursery and were planted throughout California. Philo Gold apples are golden delicious apples only grown through the Philo Apple Farm. Don and Sally Schmitt, the founders of the Philo Apple Farm, were also the founders of The French Laundry restaurant. The Schmitt’s sold the restaurant to Thomas Keller in 1994 and purchased the run-down, 30-acre orchard near the Navarro River. They spent several years working with their children to rebrand and upgrade the farm, and they kept previous golden delicious apple trees alive in the orchard for cultivation. These trees eventually produced the Philo Gold apples that are sold in markets across Northern California, and today, Philo Gold apples are the farm’s top apple variety. Philo Gold apples are sold through the farm’s produce stand, nearby farmer’s markets, and select grocers in Northern California.
Recipes that include Philo Gold Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Food Gal||Cranberry and Philo Gold Apple Kuchen with Hot Cream Sauce|