Recent Comments

  • 5 years 1 day ago by: lee in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Thanks so much for all of your feedback. Here are a few other things I'd like to mention about the SweeTango:

    The SweeTango is a hybrid of the Zestar and the HoneyCrisp. This gives it a couple of big selling ponits: first, it's crisp and sweet like the HoneyCrisp (I've heard, I haven't tasted it); second, it comes way early in the season, like the Zestar. I've also heard that the skin of a SweeTango is tough. Can anyone confirm?

    My understanding of the U of M deal is that the U is trying to maintain an ongoing revenue source - not just controlling quality. This year, their patent on the HoneyCrisp expires, meaning that they will no longer collect a bounty on every HoneyCrisp tree that gets planted. By partnering with Pepin Heights exclusively, the U has created a revenue stream that will not expire.

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Ben in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    That was essentially the point I was trying to make, perhaps "ploy" wasn't the correct term. The shortage creates an illusion of demand and both the U and Pepin Heights will benefit when they release it in full in another year or so because of said "demand". Nice way to generate little publicity for another name added to the already long list of apples.

    I love apples but at this point it better make pie for me if its going to be worth hunting all over the state to find. There's plenty of awesome alternatives that are readily available for a whole lot less work.

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Amy M Boland in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    You know, I tried the SweeTango during the 10 minutes it was in Lunds.

    The apple is beautiful, amazingly crisp, juicy as all get out, and the flavor is... um... sweet. Just sweet. I didn't notice any of those spices.

    So it's like a date with an 18-year-old. The apple gets a lot of attention with its beauty and firmness, and the sweetness is an initial attention-getter. But ultimately, we don't have much to talk about. There's just no depth of flavor.

    SweeTango is no marketing PLOY, unless you think all marketing is a ploy (it's not). I'd call it more of an advertising success. A lot of people are very excited about a new apple that nobody really needs and is not better than the apples we already have. But everyone still wants to try it. It's like Cabbage Patch Kids: the panache of scarcity will eventually give way to the banality of oversupply.

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Kris in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    I'd really like to try a SweeTango but since I buy many things, including my apples, from the farmers market I guess I'll just have to wait. In the meantime I'll continue enjoying the Honey Crisps.

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Ben in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    I think the U probably does have the right to control distribution, but something tells me this has a lot more to do with a marketing ploy than quality control.

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Conner in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    That's a tough one. On one hand it seems ridiculous that a publicly funded university can limit the availability of a product tax dollars helped create. On the other hand, if quality is improved the trade off may be worth it.

    Maybe, instead of offering the license exclusively to one vendor, they could instead offer it to anyone who wants it under a different name. Then as quality within the SweetTango name get's established, that license could be sold to more and more orchards until the line that isn't quality assured is pushed out.

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Tangled Noodle in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    I haven't tasted SweeTango yet although shortly after it was released, I went to the farmer's market to look for some. At the Ames stand, I was told that Fireside was selling them but that I'd have to ask - they weren't being displayed. It was all very 'secret-agent' . . .

    I'm all for quality control - I've had my fair share of subpar, supposed HoneyCrisps but at the same time (and on the surface), this does seem like a so-sweet deal for Pepin! How long does this licensing agreement last; is it meant to ease the intro of SweeTango until quality standards are established? And do the decisions as to whom and where the apple trees go rest solely on Pepin or did the U help establish criteria? What are the criteria for other orchards to get the trees?

    For now, I have yet to taste SweeTango - even when I found them, they were a wee bit too pricey for now . . . (and no samples allowed!)

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Laura Jackson in reply to: Minnesota's SweeTango Apple: Colorful, Crisp and Controversial

    Keeping this new cultivar in the hands of just a few large orchards is a disappointment to small farmers like us. We'd love to add a few trees, and have been looking into getting them from a licensed grower, but its almost impossible.

    The University is developing new cultivars for the good of the people of MN, correct? Might they not benefit most by being allowed to own one? Or to have these tasty apples readily available to their local small farms and orchards?

  • 5 years 2 days ago by: Anonymous in reply to: This Week's Farmshare: More Local Organic Food Goodness

    I miss my greens too!!!

  • 5 years 4 days ago by: lee in reply to: This Week's Farmshare: More Local Organic Food Goodness

    Thanks for your note, Amy. I took a look at your blog, and - wow - great stuff this week. You weren't kidding about those tomatoes. I'm especially excited to try your vodka soaked cherry tomatoes in sea salt. Everyone else is encouraged to take a peek, too: http://knitthink.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/09/friday-food-3.html