Celebrate Fall with Apple and Pear Varietals




We are never short of delicious apples and pears here at Manhattan Fruitier, but the fall is when we receive crates of new-crop varieties straight from our favorite orchards.

Many apple and pear varieties have been in danger of extinction due to commercial growers seeking more durable types that can sustain long periods in cold storage. This has led to breeding apples that conform to the model of perfectly round, red and shiny, while casting away the knobby, oddly shaped russet types that are packed with brilliant flavor. Over time this has trained many people to eat with their eyes and not their mouths.

We are fortunate to have access to lesser known apple and pear varieties as a few dedicated farmers remain committed to growing these “forgotten fruits” and bringing them to market.

Here are some of the apples we will be featuring this Fall




The Zestar apple tastes sweet and tangy, with accents of brown sugar, and is known for its unique flavor. The apple is best used for fresh eating, and for use in a variety of baked goods, sauces, desserts, and salads.




Mollie’s Delicious has a subtle pinkish red skin and exceptionally pleasing taste. While Mollie’s Delicious has the distinct “bottom bumps” of a Red Delicious, it is not a Red Delicious sport. Rather, it is a cross between Gravenstein and Golden Delicious bloodlines.




The Blondee is a sweet, cheerful early apple with an alluring fragrance. Great for eating out of hand or cooking. It was discovered growing amongst an orchard of Gala apples. It ripens a few days before the Gala and is one of the only yellow apples available in the early weeks of apple season. Blondees have been described as the “yellow Galas.”



Asian pears have been a staple in our gifts for years, but we’ve recently been swooning over a wonderful varietal grown in New Jersey (of all places). The Shingo pear, grown at Evergreen Farm, is the crispest, sweetest, most mouth-watering pear we have ever eaten. This exceptional Asian pear has pearly white flesh and is subtly sweet and fragrant, juicy and crisp to the bite. Best eaten cold, they explode with a refreshing burst in your mouth. In case you couldn’t tell, we adore this fruit!


Apple Black Oxford blog homepage crop 20161101_0399

The Black Oxford is small and quite dark, spattered with rust-colored speckles. The blush is a deep red with purple overtones, almost mahogany, sometimes described as having a blackish bloom. The apple is slightly ribbed and classically shaped, round to conical. Flavor is mild and sweet with a hint of sweet corn, vanilla, and the pure sweetness of cane sugar. The Black Oxford originates from Paris, Maine (Oxford County) about 1790.


Apples Blue Pearmain 20161101_0398

The Blue Pearmain is an old New England favorite dating back to the 1700’s. No one knows where it originated, but ancient trees can still be found in the most rural areas of New England. It has a blue-purple color and the russet blaze around the stem. The medium to very large fruit is sweet with just a bit of tartness. The flesh is fairly dry, firm, dense and slightly crisp.  It is tasty eaten out of hand although the skin is rather tough so you might want to peel it first.  Blue Pearmain makes a good baked apple as its thick skin holds up perfectly



Esopus Spitzenburg originated in Esopus, Ulster County, NY, in the latter part of the 18th century and is reputed to be Thomas Jefferson’s favorite dessert apple. He ordered 12 trees of the variety from William Prince’s Flushing, Long Island nursery in 1790 to plant at Monticello. “Spitz” is a large apple, oblong in shape, smooth-skinned and colored a lively, brilliant red, approaching scarlet. It is covered with small yellow specks. The yellow flesh is rich, juicy, and sprightly.


Apple Orleans Reinette 20161101_0397

Orleans Reinette is an old-fashioned 18th century French apple with a reputation for good flavor. Over time it has been known by many different names, including Winter Ribston. These apples can be found growing in the cooler climate of England as well as Oregon in the United States, and can still be found growing in areas of France. Orleans Reinette apples are medium-sized, plump apples with yellowish-green skin, orange russet, and a red blush. The skin is a rough classic russet texture, and very crunchy. Flavor has hints of sweet oranges and a nutty finish. It goes well with buttery cheeses such as raw milk Swiss-style.


Citrus Roll Call – Feb. 2015

Here’s a list of citrus varieties that you might find in one of our fresh fruit gifts in February and March:


Blood Orange

Blood Orange

Blood oranges are typically imported from Sicily where they are ideally suited to the climate and are the primary orange grown in Italy. The peak of the season is February, but since blood oranges are also now grown in Texas and California, the growing season has been extended making blood oranges available from December through May. There are three primary types of blood oranges: Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello or Sanguinelli. They get their name from the intense red-streaked color of the fruit and the deep crimson blush of the skin. Interestingly, the Tarocco variety (also known by the alternative moniker “half blood”) has little to none of the characteristic redness can be mistaken for the common orange. However the flavor of the Tarocco has been described as the best of the blood oranges. On any given week, our gifts can feature different types of blood oranges. This week we also have organic blood oranges available.



The first Clementine was grown in Algeria by Father Clement Rodier. It is a cross between the Mediterranean mandarin and a sour orange. In the US, it is chiefly grown in Florida and California. The growing season is from October through March. Its prize characteristics are that it is easy to peel and has very few or no seeds. The Clementine separates easily in eight to twelve juicy segments. Some people detect the flavor of apricot nectar.

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9 Fruits of Love

People give careful thought to the food they choose for a romantic Valentine’s evening. They consider food that evokes the spirit of the holiday, food that inspires or enhances the romantic mood. The aphrodisiac, which takes its name from the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, is a food or other consumable which increases amorous ardor. In many cases, the history of most aphrodisiacs is tied to folk legends and ancient traditions. The science surrounding aphrodisiacs is murky, but the idea remains appealing. And when those aphrodisiacs are also fresh fruit, they will also be providing health, energy and nutrition.

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12 Most Compelling Reasons to Send Healthy gifts to your business associates this holiday season

1. Healthy Food Increases Productivity

Who hasn’t felt sluggish and weighed down after the initial sugar buzz of a candy bar has worn off? Healthy snacks promote long-term energy which translates into increased productivity.

2. Maintain Weight Loss Goals

With all of the cookies, cakes, and holiday treats available, many people find it hard to avoid overeating during the holidays. By providing healthy gifts to your associates, they can indulge without having to worry about breaking their New Year’s weight loss plans.

3. Healthy Foods Make People Creative

Healthy snacks are not only good for your body; they’re also good for your brain. The nutrients found in healthier snack foods can jumpstart creativity in the work place.

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