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Heirloom apples shine during Celebration Oct. 26-27

Tasty, classic apple varieties — many now quite rare — are at the center of the Hood River County Fruit Loop’s Heirloom Apple Celebration, along with delicious fresh cider, gourmet food, country fun, and lots more, Oct. 26-27.

Do apples at the supermarket all seem blandly similar? The Heirloom Apple Celebration will feature apple varieties now known as “heirloom” or “classic,” which trace their heritage back 100 years or more.

These are the apples which were made into Great-Grandma’s flavorful pies, or baked to serve at dinner. Many are also wonderful “eating” apples.

Why did they fall out of favor? Some may not store as well or as long as commercial varieties; they may be more difficult to grow, or they may bruise more easily. But they taste so good! Their individual flavors and aromas have been compared to those of different vintages of wine.

Heirloom apples include such old-style and tasty varieties such as Spitzenburg, Rome Beauty, Newtown Pippin, Winter Banana and Ortley. They were traditional favorites for mouth-watering apple pie and applesauce.

Such special apples are still available; though often in small quantities, and likely not at your neighborhood supermarket. Many people have only heard of them, and have never had the opportunity to actually taste them.

Limited supplies of heirloom apples will be found all along the Hood River County Fruit Loop during the Heirloom Apple Celebration. Many Fruit Loop farms are offering special activities throughout the weekend.

Admission and parking at all Fruit Loop attractions is free. Farms and attractions along the Fruit Loop are open from at least 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (wineries open at 11 a.m.). For complete information about Heirloom Apple Days, for a listing of Fruit Loop farms, attractions and individual operating hours, and for an easy-to-follow map, visit the Fruit Loop website at hoodriverfruitloop.com.

Printed copies are available at the Hood River County Visitors Center (Hood River exit 64 off Interstate 84), at various Hood River Valley area businesses, and at Fruit Loop locations.

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For more information call the Fruit Loop information number at 541-386-7697.

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