Apples: why did we wait so long before writing about a Tasmanian icon? We had that very thought at Salamanca Market last weekend, as we captured an image of apples to share via Instagram. We’ve even written about chocolate and cheese beforehand. Never mind, we’ll write about apples now. More specifically, we’ll write about a Sunday drive to the Huon Valley.
Apples: Good Excuse for Day Trip
Whenever we drive south of Hobart to the Huon Valley, we love to buy fresh produce from roadside stalls and sheds. It’s such a bonus to stop and collect a bag of apples only metres from where they’re grown and picked. Some varieties are the standard type you’d find in the supermarket, but others can be more exotic.
Buying Tasmanian Apples
Apples are seasonal, but the exact season depends on the variety. Some varieties (including the green cooking staple, Granny Smith) are available year-round, while others have a short season over the cooler months. We read somewhere that the Huon Valley is responsible for the production of about 85% of Tasmanian apples.
Honest to Goodness Apples
Farm-gate sales of apples are common along the Huon Trail, and promoted by the tourism industry as a highlight. One thing we love about the process of buying a bag of fruit is the system of trust. Growers leave their produce on the side of the road, and ask customers to make payment into an honesty box. Is Tasmania the only place that happens?
Customers need to have coins at the ready and drop their money into the slot when they make their selection.
Not Just Apples
There’s other fruits available for purchase from the Huon Valley too. Pears and berries are two that spring to mind. We bought the most magnificent (and gigantic) punnet of strawberries straight from the grower on a drive between Geeveston and Dover once. The berries were divine, and very reasonably priced given their quality. We ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day!
And if you’re interested in something other than plain fresh fruit, look out for the option of apples dipped in toffee. Can you remember buying toffee apples at the annual school fete as a child? They were considered a real treat at our local. That was many (many!) years ago, and it was a long-forgotten pleasure, biting through solid, sticky, red toffee and into a juicy apple… until our last trip south, where we refreshed that memory.
Plan your trip to the Huon Valley for a weekend if you want toffee apples, as they’re not always available. But don’t despair if you miss out on the toffee version. A-la-naturale… probably the best anyway!
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