The apple is one of the most iconic fruits, traditionally picked on cool fall days and used in pies, crisps, ciders, and more. And there is a vast world of varieties that goes well beyond the common grocery store offerings. With names like American Beauty, Carter’s Blue, and Fallawater, and flavors ranging from sweet to tart, this treasure trove of unique apples is ripe for discovery.
There is no better guide through this tasty world than Tom Burford, whose family has grown apples in the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1715. His celebratory book Apples of North America is brimming with beautiful portraits of heirloom and modern apples of merit, each accompanied by distinguishing characteristics and common uses. You will also find information on growing apples at home—with specifics on planting, pruning, grafting, and more—and instructions on how to preserve apples through pressing, fermenting, cooking, and drying.
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Average rating from 23 members
Incredibly informative! Normally, books like these tend to be dry and boring, but the visuals/aesthetically pleasing graphic design, subtle humor, and straightforward info make this a fascinating read and excellent resource. The front cover is eye catching and this would make an excellent coffee table/display book. My only complaint is the poor quality apple pictures - glancing at those fuzzy apples hindered the experience a bit. Regardless, I'm ordering a copy now. Thank you to NetGalley and Timber Press for providing a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I love apples. I love all kinds of apples. I love to eat them raw, cooked, baked, toasted, mashed; you name it, I find them delicious. I love that part of the author’s journey began in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, as that is where I spent many hours at various apple farms with my family. No wonder I felt a sense of nostalgia as I read through this book. The alphabetical guide is incredibly helpful in describing various key points of each type of apple. I had no idea there were so many varieties. There is helpful guide to tell you how to properly taste an apple as well. The book is rounded out with sections such as home orchard, tree planting and care, various apple products, and a delectable section of mouthwatering recipes. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own, freely given.
This is a beautifully laid out, thorough and helpful guide to real apples of all kinds. There are so many thousands of apple varieties that it can only really give you a taste (so to speak) of what's available, but it covers some great ones. There's lots of information at the end about how to properly plant, care for, etc. your apple trees. I love that this includes information like how well each variety keeps, since we have kept apples in our cool basement for many months through the winter. I also appreciate that it tells what each type is good for (cider, baking, fresh eating, etc.) and some history. I was very sad to get to the end and read the author's bio and see it written in past tense. Mr. Burford apparently passed away as this book was being published. He seems like he was a remarkable man who greatly enhanced the world of apples and the world at large. It is a lovely book to commemorate him. I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Date reviewed/posted: May 12 2021 Publication date: September 14, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave (#fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. The apple is one of the most iconic fruits, and there is a vast world of varieties that goes beyond the common grocery store offerings of Red Delicious and Granny Smith. With names like American Beauty, Carter’s Blue, and Fallawater, and flavours ranging from sweet to tart, this treasure trove of unique apples is ripe for discovery. There is no better guide through this tasty world than Tom Burford, whose family has grown apples in the Blue Ridge Mountains since 1715. Apples of North America is brimming with beautiful portraits of heirloom and modern apples of merit, each accompanied by distinguishing characteristics and common uses. As the view broadens to the orchard, you will find information on planting, pruning, grafting, and more. The exploration of the apple culminates with an overview of the fruit’s transformative capabilities when pressed, fermented, cooked, or dried. There are decidedly apples I adore (Honey Crisp and Granny Smith) and those I don’t (the ubiquitous MacIntosh) but I am always trying out new ones at the store. This is a great guide on how to find an apple that you like and to grow it --- or just buy and eat it like I do. Full of information, this is NOT a cookbook, but nonetheless, I adored every page of it. I love history and this fulfilled that side of the story and there are about 50000 new apples I want to try although most are not available in my local market here in Canada! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🍏 🍎 🍏 🍎 🍏
Apples of North America is a comprehensive book about all of different apples found in North America. Each apple is presented in a photograph and the known history is succinctly provided about the apple along with descriptions of how the apple looks, tastes, and characteristics of the apples. Also provided are the disease resistance, season of ripening, typical quality when stored and how the apple is best used. Very interesting read for anyone who enjoys apples, especially rare types not usually found in grocery stores. This book is a great resource for anyone wishing to identify apples on a tree long forgotten or who want to seek out rare and unusual apples from farmer's markets or other sources. Of course, if you grow or are planning on growing apple trees this book is a must read!
I really loved this book and how in the section <i>Apple Varieties A to Z</i> each apple has a picture and a whole page about it. I really never knew much about apples before reading through this book, so it was really nice to be able to mark the apples I want to try out or bookmark the ones that are my favorites.
I had no idea that so many apples have roots in slavery. This is a good index to appoint the united state less focus on Canadian and Mexican apples. Very consistent in style for each index.
To have classic tastes, you must be sufficiently educated in classical roots, i.e apple culture. Apples are endemic to American society and learning about not only the gradient and variety of each particular fruit, but where it is harvested, who it was harvested by, helps understand the answer to “why”. Tom Burford provides incredibly helpful photographs of each different variety of apple with explanations of each fruit on the page. I love apples, and learning about my favorite fruit only made me appreciate the hard work of my local orchards that much more. Also, this is not a cookbook, more an encyclopedia of amazing apple seeds of information that will live within your mind forever. I received an ARC from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Apples of North America is a guide to all things apples. Thoughtfully put together by an author with deep roots in growing apples, this book contains a compilation of information on close to 200 varieties of apples. Topics also highlighted include how to grow and how to cook the many varieties of apples. Apples of North America is a fantastic and all-inclusive guide to everything apples. There is so much love and care that went into this book, and the reader will certainly have no shortage of useful information. Of particular interest to me is section with individual profiles on each kind of apple, with information on its history, appearance, usage, and storage. I am an avid baker, and found my world to open up a little more with all of these details. Readers should check this book out for any and all things they may want to know about apples. Thanks to Netgalley and Timber Press for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.
Everybody, it seems, loves apples. They are good for snacking, baking and cooking and have been for centuries. Apples of North America: A Celebration of Exceptional Varieties by pomologist, orchardist, and apple historian, Tom Burford, is an excellent reference to have on the shelf to help everyone (both cooks and apples aficionados) with everything they ever wanted to know about apples and more. Not only does this book have photos and information of dozens of varieties of apples, but it also includes what each is best for, as well as how to cultivate apples, how to take care of the trees, and information on storing apples. The only thing this book is lacking is recipes for using apples. Almost every recipe book includes an apple recipe or two, so this shouldn’t be a problem for most. This information included is not only interesting, but also something anyone who has anything to do with apples will want to know. The prose is well-written and understandable. The history of apples is fascinating, and most will enjoy reading it. All told, while this isn’t actually a cookbook, it is something that anyone who likes apples should pick up and read. The photographs are excellent; the information is excellent and timely, and the historical material is fascinating. It will inspire almost everyone to get their out their favorite apple recipes and use what they have learned to make mouthwatering apple dishes, both sweet and savory. Highly recommended for those who like apples. Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review c19opy of this book.
Besides the fact I had to read this on the Netgalley shelf app... on my cell phone, this was absolutely fantastic. Despite this being read on my phone, which was tedious, I was able to enjoy every apple in full color. I love apples, probably my favorite non-berry fruit BUT I love apples even more after this book. I felt like I was right there with author as he was describing each apple. There were even some apples I have not heard of before, and I definitely want to eat all of them. There is an apple for everyone to enjoy. I am definitely buying this at publishing!! Highly recommended! Thanks to Netgalley, Tom Burford and Timber Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Available: 9/14/21
Outstanding reissue of a classic covering many apple varieties. Written by a life-long apple farmer, it covers both new and old varieties. You'll see beautiful pictures of each fruit and learn about its history and characteristics. Especially useful for those wishing to grow apples is information about storage qualities and best uses. In addition to the information about individual varieties, about a third of the book has detailed information about cultivating apples as about methods for using them. This information is not recipes. Instead, you'll learn how to dry apples and make items such as cider and vinegar. Finally you'll find listings of varieties according to use and growing conditions.
What I know (or knew) about apples: There a many different kinds. Some I like and some I do not. In this book, author Tom Burford has opened my eyes somewhat to a veritable cornucopia of apple varieties. So many, in fact, that this was almost overwhelming. Almost. Burford gives a great deal of information on nearly 200 varieties of apples (this is not a complete list ... these are the 'exceptional varieties' according to the book's subtitle). This information generally includes a brief history of the variety, other names it might be known as, a description of the exterior of the apple (ie: shape, size, color), a description of the interior of the fruit (such as crispness, sweetness, etc), the productivity of the tree, the fruit's disease resistance, the ripening season, storage quality, and uses for the variety (desert, baking, cider-making, vinegar making, etc). I thought it was interesting that only five of the 200 listed mentioned that they were good for 'eating-out-of-hand.' After the brief look at the different apple varieties, Burford also presents the reader with 'Recommended Uses of Apple Varieties,' a look at planning and planting a home orchard and tree care, and some apple products. Burford clearly has a great deal of knowledge about and a love affair with the apple. He comes from a family that has grown apples in the United States since the early 1700's and there's probably no one better suited to give us the 411 on apples. And in many ways I feel quite prepared for a trivia night or a series of apple questions on Jeopardy after reading this book. But... The bulk of the book is the look at the different varieties, most of which I've never heard of or seen in any of my local stores or markets (I live in the upper Midwest). If I wanted an Early Joe or Westfield Seek-No-Further apple, where would I find one? What does it mean when one of the best apples I've eaten in a long time (an Envy) isn't even listed? This is a wonderful list with some great insight, but it is not very practical from my standpoint. I have thought it might be nice to have an apple tree in my yard (until I have to mow the yard, of course) and to that end, the information about planting and tree care is quite helpful even though I'm unlikely to take any action in this regard. Something I didn't see here, but rather expected, was a growing zone. For the 200 varieties listed, am I likely to find them in Minnesota? In Colorado? Virginia? Florida? There are a number of apple varieties listed here that I'd like to check out, but I'm not sure I'll ever find them. Looking for a good book? Tom Burford's Apples of North America provides a great deal of information about nearly 200 apple varieties, as well as expert advice on planting, growing, and maintaining apple trees. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
The cover is very pretty and it gives you a pretty good indication of what’s inside. The title is very apt but the information inside is an insane amount of knowledge. What did I like? The book gives you background on over two hundred varieties of apples. I really enjoyed the background information on the apple’s existence and then the book merges into planting trees and uses for the apples. I do find it funny though that certain store brands of apples don’t make it in the group. Would I recommend or buy? If your looking for background on apple’s look no further. This one is a encyclopedic wealth of information on over two hundred kinds. It is one of the most interesting look at apple’s that I’ve read. Five stars! I would buy a copy, and it’s highly recommended if your looking for background on apples. I received a complimentary copy to read and voluntarily left a review.
What a fun and informative book about apples. You see them every time you walk through the supermarket but you don't think about the true number of apples that exist outside of what is in those aisles and the history of them all.
Upfront, I want to say that I fully intend to purchase this book upon release. As a foodie and backyard homesteader, I'm not only committed to the quality of what I grow, but the heritage and health behind successful food plants. There's far more information in this definitive apple guide than can be absorbed in one read. Probably not even in several reads! I presumed I would find the most value in the encyclopedic breakdown of over 200 apple varieties, but I was blown away by the amount of knowledge in the sections on apple cultivation, usage, and storage. Burford knows his apples and his devotion is inspiring. Apples are one of the most storied foods of all time, and this book is proof! I especially appreciate the alternative names of the varieties, as many times heirlooms are only known to their growers as the name they came with, and as such a sort of 'telephone' game ensues as varieties are handed down through generations. By preserving these names, we have the ability now to track how these varieties have evolved over time. As an apple fanatic myself, I intend to do a more mindful sampling of apples this fall and come back to compare my notes to those of Mr Burford. I already purchase half a dozen varieties from local orchards for different uses (which I was pleased to see is not a bad plan, reading through the 'Best Varieties by Use' portion of this book. I may have to start sourcing even more varieties! (Side note- if you have been limited to store apples, treat yourself this fall with a trip to an orchard. The search will be worth it when the flavors of an apple from the tree explode in your mouth!) If you are a foodie, orchardist, backyard grower, homesteader, or a consumer looking to learn more about the history of what we eat- this book is for you! And because we eat with our eyes first, I must also say that this book has a gorgeous cover and does justice to the many beautiful shades and sizes apples come in! I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own, given voluntarily.
Review courtesy of Netgalley and the Publisher for providing an ARC. Reader, I confess: I'm a little obsessed with rare apples. I happened when I ran across a post on tumblr posted by the blog "mildlyinteresting-blog," showing a photo of a man sitting behind a table full of apples with a sign behind him that said "Heritage Apples. My hobby finding "lost" apple varieties." This man's name was Tom Brown, not Tom Buford, and he runs applesearch.org. I became fascinated with little known and hard to find apple varieties, and the "apple mages," as some people on tumblr called them. Tom Buford was easy enough to learn about once I started going down this rabbit hole of apples - a man who knew more about apples than I could have ever imagined. Needless to say, I was very excited to request the Apples of North America as an ARC. It's warm and funny. It's very real - none of the apples look pristine and uncanny. It's a niche little history and botanical survey of apples in the United States (not so much Mexico or Canada), but it's deeply enjoyable. It reminds me of my own late-grandmother, who would've probably enjoyed exactly this type of book, and who I so desperately wish I could share my thoughts about it with her. The book is jammed with information (pardon the pun), and gives me everything from characters and shelf stability to historical facts, to folk names of various apples. I would've liked to see more apple photos (some of them cut open, for example, on the entry pages, especially when the flesh was a unique color!). The major flaw here is mostly if you go into buying this book expecting a practical apple-growing guide for an orchard or gardener, a cookbook, or a regional apple "finding" guide. It's not really meant to be any of those things. I like it for what it is, though, which is a man who knows a ton about apples explaining about 200 of them to me in a warm and opinionated way. It's a beautiful coffee table book - an ode to apple heirlooms and what they look like and a little bit about how they grow, but there's no keys or maps for easy reference to locating where certain apples are. Oh, Buford will tell you where they're often found, but so many of these are vanishing quickly and only findable if you hunt for them. Still, I enjoyed this book, all the apples within, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great book on apple lore.
Apples of North America is a comprehensive primer of North American apple varieties collected and curated by Tom Burford. Originally published in 2013, this reformat and re-release is due out 28th Sept 2021 from Workman on their Timber Press imprint. It's 312 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. The author, who was an orchardist and agrarian/historian in Virginia had a lifelong history with apple varieties, growing, use, and culture. Much of that lifelong education is contained in this encyclopedic tome. The information is accessible and easy to understand and related plainly without fanfare. The information is presented in logical order: first a primer of apple varieties listed alphabetically by name with entries pictured and described in detail, apple uses with specific varietal recommendations, tree selection planting & care, and a discussion of apple products (cider, vinegar, apple butter, and dried) and how to get started with them. Each of the varieties is listed with a picture, name, alternate common names, a short history where known, description, tree characteristics, disease resistance if any, ripening season, uses, and storage quality. The book also contains a couple of useful appendices: a bibliography for further exploration and reading, as well as a short metric conversion chart. The index includes the varieties by name as well as other subjects contained in the book. Five stars. This would be a superlative selection for library acquisition, smallholders, home gardeners, garden groups, heirloom foodies, community gardens, and similar groups. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
This is an updated edition of a 2013 title. Tom Burford was known as "Professor Apple" and it shows. He clearly had an encyclopedic knowledge of apple varieties, and highlights more than 100 rare and unusual varieties here. Each apple variety gets its own page with a color photo and basic information, including history, uses, storage hardiness, etc. I agree with another reviewer that including a growing region would have been helpful for determining whether I could find certain varieties near me. (Personally I was also a little disappointed not to see Gravenstein on the list, since my family's tree has provided us with delicious pie and applesauce apples for decades.) An interesting and useful volume.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book, bit I thoroughly enjoyed it! The author clearly has a passion for apples, and it shows throughout this read. I consider this part instructive and part reference as the author describes the origin of apples, how to plant them, the many varieties and nuances of each, and the steps to prune and support them during their growth. For anyone interested in learning more about apples or planting them, I highly recommend this book!
This is such an interesting book! I loved reading about the interesting history, from the photos and descriptions of tons of nearly-lost, rare, heirloom variety apples, to the tales of how they were discovered (some centuries ago), then lost, then found again. Burford's personal tales from his life in a family growing apple orchards for generations add wonderful color to the book, and his passion and knowledge come across on every page.