For those of you that may have been procrastinating a bit to go apple picking, do not fret! The very best apples of the season (IMHO) are now available and here is one of my all time favorites.

The Arkansas Black Apple

It's been gaining in popularity over the past decade and whenever I see a bag of these at an orchard, I pounce!

They almost have the appearance of a wooden apple, like some decoration at a craft fair and the paint that they used wasn't quite right.

Or, perhaps more appropriately with their tart skin, they look like gigantic cranberries. Very round with a deep red color.

I'll confess, the first few times I had these, I hated them.

I thought that the flavor of the skin was similar to drinking orange juice after you brush your teeth.  But, much like the finest flavors on earth, such as coffee or licorice, your taste matures as you get older and you realize how delicious they are.

What's truly crazy about the 'Ark Black' is that their flavor changes over time too!

They are the best 'Winter Keeper' because they remain very crisp for months and the skin sweetens over that time to match the sweet inside. A lot of people wrap them in small brown paper bags and give them as gifts around the Holidays.

But honestly, I love the tart/sweet combination that they provide fresh off the tree in late October.

If you cant get past the 'bitter' skin, just peel the skin off with a veggie peeler and you'll be surprised how great an apple it is.