Revered for their exceptional quality and versatile usage, are indeed an excellent choice for a plethora of culinary endeavors. Whether you fancy biting into a fresh, crisp apple, baking a delectable pie, creating a refreshing salad, or simmering a flavorful sauce, the Criterion apple is a standout choice that never disappoints.
This exceptional fruit came into existence due to a fortuitous event in the world of botany. It originated as a serendipitous seedling, a chance discovery that led to the creation of a new variety. The progeny of a cross between Winter Banana and Red and Gold Delicious apples, the Criterion apple inherits and combines the best traits of its parentage.
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Selection and Usage
Criterion apples are famously prized for their fresh eating quality, a perfect choice for a healthy, crisp snack straight from the hand. Beyond their raw appeal, these apples are also outstanding contributors to culinary endeavors such as pies, salads, and sauces. The firm texture of the apple and its delicate balance between sweet and tart flavors make it an ideal ingredient, imparting a wonderful depth of flavor to various dishes. In addition, Criterion apples excel in dried form, providing a flavorful and nutritious addition to trail mixes, cereals, and baked goods.
When looking for quality Criterion apples, certain key indicators will guide your selection. The apples should feel firm and heavy in your hand, indicating their freshness and juiciness. Remember to test the firmness by holding the apple in your palm and feeling its weight. Avoid pressing with your thumb as this can bruise the fruit.
Aesthetically, Criterion apples should have smooth, clean skin, free from blemishes or dark spots. These apples are distinguished by a shape reminiscent of the Red Delicious, but bear a unique color palette that ranges from bold yellow to vibrant red. This eye-catching color combination signifies a ripe and ready-to-eat Criterion apple.
Cameo apples provide a delightful culinary experience that is akin to embarking on a treasure hunt, where every bite unveils the exceptional qualities of this apple variety.
Apples, especially Criterions, are best stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually the crisper drawer. They withstand very cold temperatures and do not freeze until the temperature drops to 28.5 degrees Fahrenheit, providing a long storage life when kept cool.
Avoiding Subpar Criterion Apples
Steer clear of any apples with soft or dark spots as these are signs of over-ripeness or potential spoilage. Also, beware of any skin wrinkling when you rub your thumb across it. This is often an indication that the apple has been in cold storage for too long, or hasn’t been kept at the optimal cool temperature, which may adversely affect its quality and flavor.
Though you can find Criterion apples at grocery stores throughout the year, they truly shine during their peak season in the fall. During this time, the apples are at their freshest, offering their best flavor and nutritional benefits. So, whether you’re planning a fall apple-picking outing or looking to bake a heartwarming pie, keep an eye out for the exceptional Criterion apple.
When it comes to discussing the exceptional qualities of a culinary delight, one cannot overlook the Jazz Apple and its remarkable embodiment of nature’s brilliance.
Apple Tips & Trivia
- The Criterion apple was discovered as a chance seedling in the late 1960’s in an orchard near Parker, Washington.
- The Criterion apple is a cross between Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Winter Banana Apples.
- Rub cut apples with lemon juice to keep slices and wedges creamy white for hours.
- Store apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator away from strong-odored foods such as cabbage or onions to prevent flavor transfer.
- Apples are the second most important of all fruits sold in the supermarket, ranking next to bananas.
- Tens of thousands of varieties of apples are grown worldwide.
- The history of apple consumption dates from Stone Age cultivation in areas we now know as Austria and Switzerland.
- In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage; catching it was acceptance.
- Folk hero Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) did indeed spread the cultivation of apples in the United States. He knew enough about apples, however, so that he did not distribute seeds, because apples do not grow true from seeds. Instead, he established nurseries in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
- Three medium-sized apples weigh approximately one pound.
- One pound of apples, cored and sliced, measures about 4 1/2 cups.
- Purchase about 2 pounds of whole apples for a 9-inch pie.
- One large apple, cored and processed through a food grinder or processor, makes about 1 cup of ground apple.
- Dietary Fiber: Criterion apples are an excellent source of dietary fiber, providing about 20% of the daily recommended intake in a single serving. Fiber aids in digestion, helps control blood sugar levels, assists in weight management, and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Antioxidants: These apples are also rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and flavonoids. These substances protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- Hydration: Apples are about 85% water. Eating a Criterion apple can help keep you hydrated, which is essential for overall health.
- Low Calorie: With only 80 calories per serving, Criterion apples are a low-calorie snack that can help maintain a healthy weight.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin, present in Criterion apples, plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy vision, skin, and immune system.
In conclusion, Criterion apples are a gem among apple varieties, bringing together the best traits of their parentage, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Winter Banana apples. Their satisfying crunch, balanced sweet-tart flavor, and rich nutritional profile make them a standout choice for snacking, baking, and cooking. Besides their culinary versatility, these apples offer remarkable health benefits, including an excellent source of fiber, hydration, and essential vitamins.
When choosing a Criterion apple, remember to look for firm, heavy apples with vibrant coloring and smooth, blemish-free skin. Keep them in a cool, dry place, preferably the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, to maintain their quality and extend their shelf life.