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Lodi Apples: Early-Season Harvest

Lodi apples. Photos by Keri White

I generally try to eat produce in season — and as locally as possible. As a result, I have been accustomed to foregoing apples of late because they are all in storage from the fall harvest.

However, at this week’s farmers market, I spotted a new varietal of apple and saw that it was labeled as a new harvest. I inquired of the farmer, and she confirmed that the Lodis, as they are called, are an early-harvest apple best suited for baking or applesauce. The ones I sampled were fairly crisp and had a bit of a Granny Smith flavor, but without the hint of sweetness.

The varietal was developed in the early 1920s in Geneva, New York, under the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. They are not commercially cultivated due to their relatively short shelf life and fragile skin. But they are available in some local farmers markets and will be in season from mid-summer to fall. So, if you are looking for a local, seasonal apple in July, Lodi is your friend.

Lodi apples

Lodis are definitely a tart apple and, therefore, may not be the ideal snack if you prize sweetness. But there are many uses for an apple like this. Here are a few:

  • Grate them into a slaw to complement cabbage, kale or other shredded greens.
  • Chop them into chicken salad with walnuts and grapes.
  • Slice them and serve them with pecorino cheese drizzled with honey.
  • Use them in baking: muffins, cakes, scones, crisps, pies or cobblers.
  • Make applesauce.
  • Sauté slices, and fold them into an omelet with sharp cheddar cheese
  • Make baked apples: Core them, then sprinkle them with brown sugar, cinnamon and a pat of butter, and bake them for about 45 minutes; eat them plain or top them with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  • Chop them and stir them into oatmeal or overnight oats.
  • Slice them thinly and layer them on a smoked turkey sandwich with grainy mustard.
  • Slice them thinly and melt them inside a grilled cheese sandwich.



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