When it is too cool for the pool and the kids are back in school, Virginia’s monthslong apple season is truly at its height.
Throughout autumn, we’ll find piles of local apples at the markets. Fortunately, there are piles of different uses for those juicy gems.
It’s really quite amazing to consider the versatility of this ancient fruit, which has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years and is available in some 6,000 varieties around the world. Apple pies, cakes and dumplings are high on the list, but the humble apple also can be made into juice, vinegar and a tasty alcoholic beverage.
This season, however, I’ve been thinking about how apples can be incorporated into main courses. They complement the flavors of roasted meats, add a sweet bite to sandwiches, and become a pleasantly tangy and crunchy element in any salad.
When I talked to some Southwest Virginia chefs, they agreed that apples should never be limited to the dessert menu.
“I try to play a lot where you have savory components but a little bit of a sweet component, too,” said Michael Behmoiras, executive chef at The Bank Food and Drink in Pearisburg. “There is a very happy marriage you can do between savory and sweet.”
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