11 November 2007

Apples to Apples

I enjoy an apple as much as the next guy. I usually pack a Red Delicious or Gala in my lunch because they're the cheapest. Sometimes I buy Fuji or maybe even Golden Delicious. But the other day at our neighborhood Safeway I looked around the produce section and realized how many apples are out there that I haven't ever tried.



I need to branch out! But how is a young man supposed to know which apple is best? The scientific method should do the trick. So I bought one of each apple, found a beautiful lab assistant, and did a blind study. Here I am getting ready for the big event.


I blindfolded myself and we got to work. The apples I studied were Southern Rose, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Red Delicious, Cameo, Fuji, Gala, Red Rome, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Jonagold, McIntosh, Jazz, and Ambrosia. (I didn't test Granny Smith because everyone knows it's primarily a baking apple. Plus it's really sour so it would have been obvious to my taste buds which one it was).


This was hard work but someone had to do it. Here you can see my lab assistant's hand. I had her hand-feed me so I didn't have to touch the specimens and contaminate the results.


The process was simple: I ate two pieces of an apple, talked about my feelings regarding that apple, gave it a numerical 1-10 score, ate a small piece of cheese to cleanse the pallet, and continued until I tried all the apples in random order. Then I did the whole process all over again and averaged the two scores. I based my scores on taste, juiciness, and the skin texture/chewiness. Here are the meticulous notes my lab assistant took down:

The results are in! Honey Crisp wins by a hair!


So you're thinking you should buy Honey Crisp from now on? Not so fast. Using some simple econometrics and regression-line analysis, I cross-evaluated the cost coefficient of each apple with its taste derivative. Here's what I came up with:

So if you're smart, you will buy Braeburn or Cameo apples from now on. Their taste level versus their cost per pound is matched by no other. And if you're buying Red Rome you might as well jump out of a window. They're crap. Take it from me. The best part of the study was that my lab assistant baked a pie with all the leftover pieces. I think I will offer her a more permanent position.


12 comments:

two forks said...

i see work in the future for those assistant's hands on QVC!!!

Megan said...

I'd like to send a shout out to my favorite apple in the world, the Braeburn!!!! Your results just verified what I had suspected all along- they're awesome. Just make sure to by the apples before they are all the way red- they get mushy rather than crispy.

Michael said...

As the resident statistician, I have reviewed the statistical methods used by Dr. Markanich and found them to be in compliance with accepted standards and regulations. Thank you for enlightening us all.

Shauna said...

You know you have too much time on your hands when . . . :) i think you study might be flawed though, as your produce came from Safeway, which is just as good as the next guy in dry product, but stinks POOP in the produce department. Boo. I've been burned too many times.

michal & david coombs said...

i am writing a review of a scientific article for my nutrition class: does an apple a day really keep the dr. away? turns out it really does. and not just the family dr, but the neurologist, oncologist, allergist, rheumatologist, cardiologist, the list goes on. and, according to this study, red apples (the skins, really) have more phenol antioxidants than green apples.

Jerkolas said...

Well I know that something is wrong with this study based on the lower score that the Fujis received. However I couldn't agree more with the low score that Red Delicious got.

Wischmeiers said...

Not only is this an informational blog, but a very funny one! The comment about the Red Rome apples made Ben and I laugh incredibly hard! Thanks for the info... because who wants to eat CRAP?

the guitarist from hell said...

You forgot to factor in the factor that one has to be mentally unstable to pay more than $.99/lb. for any apples. Thus, the statistics are inadmissible due to mental incompetence. I rest my case.

Ben said...

I see this is becoming your most popular post of all time (comment wise). I figured I should comment too so that you can hopefully break double-digits.

Anyway, I'm totally a Granny Smith guy. I understand your reasoning for leaving them out with their tartness, but they are much more that just a "baking apple." Please give them the respect they deserve.

On a related note, did you know that Granny Smith apples are named after Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of Joseph Smith?

Me neither. I just made it up.

reggstyl said...

Love the Honey Crisp...too bad it's so darn expensive. and I didn't know you had a blog! Fun reads...

Abbie said...

You only have that many apples to choose from because you live in Washington. Trust me, here in Utah we had golden and red delicious, and then sometimes pink lady or gala. Boo... on Utah. Yay for Washington!

Bri and Ben said...

Hello, what about Granny Smith!
my fave! I cant believe you didnt taste one.