As recently as a century ago, more than 15,000 varieties of native apples graced the hills and valleys of North America. Today, only eleven varieties account for over 90% of the apples grown and eaten in the U.S.
New York Greenmarket mainstays Red Jacket Orchards decided to buck that trend. Seven years ago they began cultivating several rare heirloom apple breeds on their upstate farm in the rolling hills along the shores of Seneca Lake.
Several of their heirloom varieties, including the colonial-era favorite Newtown Pippen, can be traced back over 250 years. While in Paris, Thomas Jefferson once wrote that, “They have no apples here to compare with our Newtown Pippin.”
Apple aficionados take note: Red Jacket has just released a very limited-edition batch of cider made with their heirloom apples. Only 300 gallons were made, and they’re sure to go fast. Farm manager Mike Biltonen spoke with BKTV (that’s Brooklyn Kitchen TV, people) about heirloom apples and the special cider.
We know you can get your hands on some at The Brooklyn Kitchen. Anyone know who else is carrying it? No hoarding! Post a comment if you spot it on a shelf near you!