I think by now it's pretty well accepted by society at large that the only variety of apple worth eating is the Honeycrisp. So tasty, so crispy... I could (and have) live off of these sinfully delicious fruits for extended periods.
But since Honeycrisps aren't always in season (if you can find them around town this time of year, they tend to be smallish and blemished), and since I'm always keeping any eye open for the next big apple trends, I went out of my comfort zone the other day and picked up a couple of Apple varieties I haven't tried yet.
Today's taste test: The Empire.
The Empire looked good in the produce section: Deep red, shiny and smooth (much like my Russian friend). It was about the size of a baseball with no blemishes. A promising start!
From my extensive, Google-based research which I conducted over the past six minutes, the biggest benefit of the Empire is that it doesn't bruise easily. You can see why this would be good, since bruising is the path to the dark side. Bruising leads to rotting, rotting leads to anger, anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
But I suspect that the resistance to bruising also leads to the apples being harvested too soon, shipped too far and kept on shelves too long.
The sample I had tasted kind of like an apple, but it was a weak, faded apple taste. Like, if it were a coloring book, you kid (or office mate who is really into those "grown up" coloring books) only colored part of the picture and they used the very palest colors. It was like an old-timey, staticy recording of an apple taste.
So, the taste was just kind of meh. Not bad necessarily, but not the explosion of flavor you get from the Honeycrisp, the gold standard of apples.
So, bottom line here is that the Honeycrisp is still the reigning champion of apples. It wasn't even close.
The Empire strikes out.