Heirloom apples are something to get passionate about. Old-fashioned breeds of apples offer tastes, textures, and unexpected delights that just aren't found in those supermarket Red Delicious apples.
These are some of the reasons that Slow Food and Renewing America's Food Traditions Alliance (RAFT) are proposing 2010 to be the Year of the Heirloom Apple, with efforts to save at least 90 heirloom varieties.
Heirloom breeds are also agriculture's version of open source: They aren't grown from seeds patented and licensed by seed companies.
But among about 16,000 apple varieties in North America, only 3000 are really available these days. So RAFT is trying to bring 90 endangered apple varieties back into orchards, cideries, restaurants and kitchens.
Good for them, we say! We love trying new varieties of apples — especially heirlooms.
• Find out more: Let 2010 Be the Year of the Heirloom Apple at Slow Food USA
Related: Harvest Month: Real Apples
(Image: Slow Food)