Once upon a time, the little hamlet of Verona was a farming community with apple orchards that served the booming metropolis of Newark. Many of Verona’s apple trees have been lost to development over the years, but not all. Which brings me to the point of today’s story.
In the fall issue of Edible Jersey magazine, author Fran McManus writes that there is a hunt on for the king of all New Jersey cider apples, the so-called Harrison apple. (Yes some apples are best for only certain uses, like cider.) They were widely planted in the area of West Orange, South Orange and Maplewood, but it’s not inconceivable that some wound up here too.
If you have a apple tree in your yard that ripens late and produces fruit that looks like the one in this picture, it might be a Harrison. You should e-mail the magazine at [email protected]. If you’re inclined to plant a Harrison, the magazine has details on where to find nurseries that carry it. The editor says the full apple story will be online soon, or look for Edible Jersey at Whole Foods and other specialty food stores.