Locally Grown Apples at Stew Leonard’s

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Meet the farmers and taste the apples they grow at Stew’s at the end of the month. The press release — and a very cool list that describes apple varieties — after the jump.

FALL INTO STEW’S “IT’S ALL NATIVE” APPLE FEST
Event Celebrates the Best of the Season’s Locally-Grown Apple Crop with Apple Tasting, Free Samples and Children’s Activities in a Country Fair Atmosphere

When the local apple crop starts arriving at Stew’s, it signals the official start to fall.  Stew Leonard’s carries eight different varieties of native apples, grown on family-owned farms in Connecticut and New York.   To celebrate the arrival of this season’s most popular fruit, Stew Leonard’s is holding an “It’s All Native” Apple Fest from Noon until 4:00 P.M. on the following dates and store locations:
•    Saturday, September 27:  Stew Leonard’s Norwalk, Conn. store at 100 Westport Ave
•    Sunday, September 28: Stew Leonard’s Yonkers, N.Y. store at One Stew Leonard Drive
•    Saturday, October 4: Stew  Leonard’s Danbury, Conn. store at 99 Federal Road
•    Sunday, October 5: Stew Leonard’s Newington, Conn. store at 3475 Berlin Turnpike

At the Apple Fest, guests can taste all the different apple varieties Stew’s offers, learn what varieties are best for baking, what cheeses each pairs well with, and get their questions answered by Stew’s apple experts and farmers.
Apple Tasting

Visitors will be able to do a side-by-side tasting of native apple varieties, to learn about the apples’ flavor and texture characteristics, as well as which kinds are best for baking, eating and pairing with cheese.
Gala:
•    Children love this variety for its mildly sweet flavor and crisp texture. This variety is also excellent with Brie cheese.
Macouns:
•    One of the juiciest and sweetest apples available, Macouns have a tender texture which make them excellent for eating or baking, and are delicious when paired with cheddar cheese.
McIntosh:
•    This variety is known for its sweet flavor and tart tanginess.  Because it is juicy and tender, it is excellent for eating or for apple sauce and is also good in pies.
Honeycrisps:
•    As the name implies, this apple is super crispy with a sweet taste and a tart finish that make them excellent for eating.  This variety pairs well with a hearty Irish Cheddar or a big gorgonzola.
Cortlands:
•    A secret of cooks is to use this variety in salads because they don’t turn brown as quickly as other varieties when cut. They are juicy, sweet and tender and pair well with Gruyère cheese.
Red Delicious:
•    While grown across the country, those grown in the Hudson Valley area have a slightly tart flavor that balances out the sweetness. Combined with the apple’s crisp texture and juiciness, Red Delicious is one of the most popular apple varieties.
Golden Delicious:
•    This honey-sweet apple is great to use in apple pies, since less sugar is needed. It also pairs very well with brie cheese.
Empire:
•    A cross between the Red Delicious and McIntosh varieties, Empires are very crisp, and offer a perfect blend of sweetness and tartness. They are a great variety to make caramel apples with.

In addition to tasting different apple varieties, free tasting samples of some of the stores’ most popular apple-related foods will be offered, including freshly made apple cider donuts, apple crisp, apple cider, apple spice coffee as well as cheese and apple pairings.

Meet Stew’s Apple Farmers

Not only will the events feature locally grown apples, Stew’s has also invited the farmers who grow them to attend and answer your apple questions firsthand:

Eric Henry from Blue Hills in Wallingford, CT
•    Blue Hills is a fifth generation family-owned farm, run by Eric Henry, along with his wife and mother.  On their 300 acres in Wallingford, CT they grow apples, peaches and pears.  Among the apple varieties picked daily and delivered the same day to Stew Leonard’s are Macoun, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Gala and Empire.  Blue Hills farm has been supplying Stew Leonard’s with locally grown fruit since 1998.
Gary Fix from Fix Farms in Livingston, NY
•    Gary Fix and his brothers, David and Bobby, are fourth-generation owners of Fix Farms in Livingston, New York. Bobby’s two sons help operate the family-owned, 300-acre farm.  Fix Farm’s largest crop is McIntosh apples, although they also grow 15 other apple varietals.  Apple season begins during the first week of August and continues through the end of October.  In addition to apples, Fix Farms grows cherries, peaches and pears.  Fix Farms has been supplying apples to Stew Leonard’s food stores since 2000.

The “Apple of our Eye” Children’s Corner
As part of the event, all children under 12 will receive a free apple as well as a copy of Dole’s “There’s a Rainbow on My Plate” activity and coloring book, which encourages children to eat more fruits and vegetables. Stew’s birthday party team will be offering free face painting and will conduct readings of The Healthy Way children’s nutrition storybook (visit www.stewietheduck.com for more information).

Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned and operated grocery founded in 1969, has four stores in Norwalk, Danbury, and Newington, Conn. and Yonkers, NY. The company was named among FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” for the past seven consecutive years.   For more information, visit Stew Leonard’s website at www.stewleonards.com.
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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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