Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a whole lotta apples

Life has recently sped up in a huge way and my previously mellow Fall has turned into an incredibly busy shooting season involving a lot of travel, some new book deals, and a bunch of new clients.
It's an exciting time for sure.

One of these new adventures involves apples. A LOT of apples. Bloomsbury is publishing a new book called Uncommon Apples by award-winning author, Rowan Jacobsen, and it's all about the diversity, history, and flavor profiles of over a hundred varieties of apples. 

To give you a better idea, here is an "official" description:

"Seven years ago, in his James Beard Award-winning classic A Geography of Oysters, Rowan Jacobsen changed the way America thought about oysters. Now, he does the same for our most iconic fruit. The apple is the most diverse food plant in the world. A century ago, 16,000 varieties existed in the United States alone. Today, thanks to industrial agriculture, only a handful appear in most grocery stores, but hundreds of the most interesting varieties still exist, and now, with a new apple renaissance under way, many are making a comeback. From the explosively crisp Pixie Crunch to the dark and moody Kingston Black, from the lychee-scented King of the Pippins to America’s oldest apple, the Roxbury Russet, and from the shy, delicate Maiden’s Blush to the massive Wolf River, Uncommon Apples introduces you to 120 of the most exotic, colorful, delicious, mysterious, and downright strange apples you will ever  meet. Some have played key roles in American history. Some have languished in obscurity for decades, then swept to national dominance, only to be knocked off by the new apple on the block. Some deliver flavors no Red Delicious ever dreamt of. And some are coming soon to a market near you with brand-new surprises up their sleeves. Uncommon Apples profiles the best and the brightest, the oddballs and the old veterans, and through their stories, tells the story of the apple in America. With their incredible diversity, apples once empowered Americans to make some of the finest wines, brandies, vinegars, desserts, and savory dishes in the world. They were a year-round well of creativity for farmers, home cooks, and chefs. Through its profiles, stunning photography, recipes, resource section, and explorations of the worlds of cider, apple breeding programs, and heirloom “apple detectives,” Uncommon Apples reveals a world every bit as magical today as it was two centuries ago."

As a photographer who loves shooting on location (and as someone who eats at least 2 apples per day) this project pretty much rocks the free world. 
So far, I have shot over 120 varieties of apples, various hard ciders, and 3 orchards-- one in Eastern Washington, one in Vermont (which, as you may remember, is one of my all-time favorite places in the world), and one in New Hampshire. And there is more to come! :)

I am amazed by the diversity I have encountered so far-- both in the apples themselves and in the landscapes in which they grow. I can't wait to see how this book continues to unfold in the year to come, (it's not out until 2014.)

Anyway, enough talk. 
Here's a little visual sneak peek...

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5 comments:

Tammy Bilodeau said...

Great post Clare! Love all the pictures, looks like you had a great time. :0

Carolyn Himes said...

LOVE your images....your art! You inspire me, thank you.

Joan Leonard said...

Your photography is amazing, Clare. These photos are teasers leaving me with lots of questions. And that last photo, What a gorgeous apple! I can't wait to read this book. 120 varieties? 16,000 varieties just in the U.S.?! Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Great pics! Tells a story

foodbeforebrains.com said...

Beautiful...