We are partway through harvesting our SweeTango(R) apples. It is always a good feeling when some of the premier apples are off the tree and to the market, impervious to the vagaries of Michigan weather.
With these apples, it is important to pick them gently (so no finger bruising occurs) and to place them in the picking sack gently (so no bruising occurs from being dropped on each other). We also do more than one picking, which is pretty normal for a lot of tree fruit. In the first picking, the workers select the ripest fruit that has good red color. This is usually the fruit that gets the most sunshine, on the outside of the tree.
Apples in the bin (box) are a pretty sight. Not all of these apples will be high enough quality to be called SweeTango(R). There are strict quality guidelines connected with that name, so you are assured of a great eating experience every time you buy a SweeTango(R) apple. This is NOT the case with many other varieties–notably Honeycrisp, which has no quality standards connected to the name. “Know your farmer” is good advice when selecting apples.