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Apples Hardcover – September 17, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (September 17, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393036901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393036909
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Picture-perfect apples with lackluster flavor dominate the American and European markets because they have the longest shelf life and broadest appeal. At the same time, there is a renaissance of interest in preserving precious, personality-packed heirloom apples. To lure people into joining this small but growing movement, Roger Yepsin has created this visually enchanting book devoted to the infinitely varied apple. In it, he talks about how apples are grown, stored, and used to make cider and harder alcoholic beverages, as well as for cooking and eating.

You can virtually taste the complex flavors of over 80 kinds of apples, thanks to Yepsin's exquisite prose and the vividly detailed watercolors he painted for Apples. Looking through the section describing each apple variety takes you on an international journey. You will meet the Japanese-bred Akane, introduced in 1970, the golden, russet-skinned Zabergau Reinette that came from Germany in the 1880s, and the French Calville Blanc which has been cultivated since the 1500s and which Thomas Jefferson grew. This informative romancing of the apple may draw you to a local farm stand, or inspire you to contact one of the mail order sources Yepsin provides for buying apples, actual trees, cider presses, and winemaking supplies. At the very least, you will want to experience for yourself apples beyond the usual tart Green Granny Smith and reliably dull Red Delicious. --Dana Jacobi

Review

“An elegant and compact new book. . . . Each [variety] is artfully illustrated and lovingly described, leaving the reader yearning for so much more than the common supermarket varieties. . . . [A] delightful book.” (Chicago Tribune)

More About the Author

I work as a freelancer writer, editor, and illustrator out of an old stone farmhouse in Berks County, Pennsylvania. I love to write, like very much to edit, and have a difficult relationship with watercolor. For a look at my projects, please check out www.rogeryepsen.com, from which autographed copies are available.

Customer Reviews

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Had I known this I would not have bought it.
kathleen
Stunning watercolors, history of varieties, and useful descriptions fill the book.
Elizabeth A. Keep
Liked reading about the history of how some of the apples came into existence.
Donna L. Girardin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Angel Lee HALL OF FAME on August 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an adorable, informative & fascinating book all about apples. The author does a great job of explaining how apple species have diminished, how retailers offer old and waxed apples and how to buy good apples
The best apple varieties for drying, sauce, pie, and cider are listed and the processes of making ciders, applejack & apple brandy are explained. There are even recipes for making apple leathers & apple butter.
A detailed description is included for over 90 varieties of apples. Information includes the apple's origin, flavor, uses, harvesting time, & how well it stores. An elegant watercolor painting is included alongside each description.
A small dictionary & sources for mail order tress are also included. This book makes a nice housewarming or wedding gift. It is a must for any cook serious about apples.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Scott Smith on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a nice resource for antique apple descriptions, but it doesn't describe particularly many varieties, and the author's lack of expertise in the area shows.
The author is an artist and writer. I have a few other apple-related books I have been reading that were written by professional apple people, and this book is a red delicious compared to the complex, nuanced information found in the other books. The particular thing I find bothersome is the lack of depth of the flavor descriptions. The author is not an expert in apple tasting and its shows. Another way it shows is the varieties selected: too many of them are mcintosh/golden-red-delicious/jonathan hybrids. Also given the huge history behind apples, how can one write a book called "Apples" with no history in it?
The book itself is unusually beautiful and the authors' pictures of the apples are also quite beautiful. So it would be a wonderful light little gift book.
If you want a "real" apple book get "The Book of Apples" by Morgan and Richards, which has a huge amount of history and thousands of variety descriptions.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Keep on May 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little jewel of a book is the best reference to the unusual "antique" apple varieties that are enjoying a new popularity. Stunning watercolors, history of varieties, and useful descriptions fill the book. Before we buy a tree, we consult "the book" to learn more about each cultivar.
We wish that the author would do an Apples 2 - The Missed Varieties book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Mott on October 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a gem of a book. Roger Yepsen put a lot of heart and soul into this book and it shows. For a book that makes such a delightful first impression, it really delivers the goods. The exquisite watercolors never grow trite or tiring and the compact and well-researched narrative is surprisingly comprehensive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Larkin Hutton on January 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I decided to plant some apple trees, I wanted apples I couldn't buy at the local grocery store. Information on antique varieties was hard to find, but this little book was a treasure trove. I kept it beside me as I went through my catalogs, comparing those descriptions to Yepsen's text and beautiful illustrations of both antiques and some modern varieties. Very useful, and a pleasure for the eyes as well. The only improvement I could ask for is that it would cover more apples. Perhaps another volume?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. H. Gifford on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
With Apples, writer/illustrator Roger Yepsen has created my kind of coffee table book. Although you may mistake this quaint 5x6 inch manual for a coaster, it will never overtake the space that should be utilized for a tankard of fine cider. And when the conversation lulls, you can easily set down your tankard, read one apple description, and your friend won't even know you briefly left the discussion.

Yepsen's quick essays on the history of apple cultivation, buying and eating apples, and the methods of making cider are interesting short reads. But what we come for are his colorful descriptions and vivid illustrations of ninety different classic apple varieties.

Yepsen's bio identifies him as a freelance artist and writer. But he must be an apple fanatic too, because it takes passion to create ninety individual, intriguing passages about the same type of fruit. Readers of my site, The Heirloom Orchardist, know that I like to draw from old periodicals and books to describe heirloom fruit varieties and culture during the 18th and 19th centuries. But the old writers described apples in a mechanical, textbook-like fashion, as though the fruit had no life. Yepsen's descriptions tell you about the personality of each apple; its heft, its texture, fragrance, and subtle flavors. He accompanies these descriptions with histories, to give us a setting for each variety.

Despite the quick concise title, which may imply to some that this would be an all-encompassing manual, it is not. This is not a book for someone who wants the whole story of apples. It's a tasting-plate. It's an apple appetizer. Your palette will be pleased.
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By K J Gardner on February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great little quick reference guide and gives you a nice overall visual of each apple and tells you a little about it. Nice go to guide with some great information.
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