The Press Herald has published a extended interview with James Beard award-winning author Rowan Jacobsen about his new book on heirloom apples.
Did you just go in search of different varieties – a random search – or did you put out feelers to try to find out who was growing what?
It was kind of a mix. I talked to growers about some of their favorites, some of the apple collector guys, and I’ve done research. There are some great books written about apples in the 1800s. Some of those are very opinionated about certain apples. So I developed a wish list of apples that I knew I wanted to check out.
Were there times you’d just stop by the side of the road and try something?
In Vermont, I do that all the time. This time of year the roadsides are just laden with wild apple trees, volunteer trees that nobody planted. But those aren’t any particular variety. You don’t know what you’re going to get with them. My wife and son don’t like to drive with me this time of year.
I had the chance to read an advance copy of the book and can give it a hearty 2 thumbs up. Jacobsen catalogs 100+ apples, providing tasting notes, detailed histories and does it all with an approachable and witty style that made it a pleasure to read.
Jacobsen will be in Portland on Monday September 22nd at SPACE Gallery for a reading and an apple tasting in collaboration with David Buchanan.