best kept secret in the produce department

i have never been a big apple person. when i feel snacky the last thing that comes to mind is to reach for a crunchy pomme. probably because i find they don't subdue pangs of hunger but rather awaken and enhance them.

but all of this has recently been turned on it's head.

it was when sitting in the kitchen at a cottage this fall when my companion bit into a honeycrisp and stopped. she looked at the fruit in her hand and exclaimed "that has to be one of the best apples i have had". and then bit in again.

no "this week" or "this season" qualifier for the compliment. simply "i have had".

of course i had one crazy!
and i agreed instantly. the sweet crunch and juicy flesh dissolved all previous conceptions or passive disinterest.
and the honeycrisp became the mascot of my fall 2009.

visits to the market in kensington doubled as my fruit intake increased exponentially.
it was on one such recent visit that i found out i am not alone.

a b-line to the back of the produce section where the source of my addiction is stocked, only to find that their regular bin was filled with a mound of measly cortlands left me spinning in shock.
confused i did a lap of the fruit aisle assuming that some new stockhand who had mistakenly switched the two kinds. but i ended up back where i started right in front of their usual compartment.

my disappointed gaze met with a man at the end of the aisle who asked what i was looking for.
"honeycrisp?" i replied.
his head tilted (much like the way a terriers does when you blow air on its nose) before he responded.
"so is she" he said, pointing across the aisle at a forlorn woman hopelessly scanning the bin labels for the words to fulfill her fix.

"what's with those apples?" he said to no one in particular. and before waiting for a response "well we are out. but we do have galas"

i felt like laughing. "no thanks" we said in unison before walking out - both empty handed.

my disappointment was sugar coated in the knowledge that i wasn't alone.
since then i have heard the praises of this almost twenty year old strain in grocery stores and markets across the city.

it was on the phone with a friend the other day, long after my addiction has been under control, that i heard the sound of teeth breaking that familiar skin.
i salivated recalling the taste on my tongue and interrupted with "what kind of apple is that? a honeycrisp?"
"a gala" she replied.
clearly it had been too long and i was losing touch with my senses.

i shrugged to myself before the silence was broken with her saying "but i wish it was a honeycrisp. i tell ya, those have to be the best apples i've had".

clearly it's unanimous.
way to go ontario.
you sure know apples.