It is apple season here in California and in much of the northern hemisphere including France. I find myself tonight gathering wonderful treasures to take in to Le Potager in preparation of our French Apple Harvest event that will be this Saturday. I have been researching some of the French foods and spirits that we will be serving and have learned so much about the centuries long tradition of growing fine apples in and near Normandy. There is such a vast array of the types of apples grown there as well as specific uses for certain varieties.
Whether the apple is for eating from the hand, baking, pressing for cider or for the centuries old tradition of making Calvados, France grows the perfect apples.
The history associated with the apple in France is rich and includes the making of Calvados, an apple brandy, since the region's soil is not friendly to grapes for making distilled spirits, the abundant apple was substituted with wonderful result.
I even found this history of the Normandy region apples being lifesavers to the GI's during the war, providing them with sustenance during battles.
Preparing for this event has been so interesting. This information has allowed us to highlight the history of the apple in France as well as it's culinary uses.
To make sure we had beautiful fresh apples for our event, we went apple picking last Sunday. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool and the apples were perfect. These trees are celebrating their 50th birthday this season and a still producing very large, sweet, juicy apples.
We picked and picked and brought home a nice selection of apples including my favorite the empire.
I will follow up this weekend with how our French Apple Harvest event at Le Potager went. I will post photos of many of my treasures being used including a vintage apple bushel basket I bought very near where we picked. Enjoy an apple today or better yet come into the shop this Saturday!