The apple of my eye is bound to be unlike yours. Even among apples, the almost bewildering array of would-be favorites almost catches up with the endless variations in personal character; together, these have the exponential potential to create such a multiplicity of possible tastes that it’s amazing if any small group of people have predictably identical loves.
On top of that, our own tastes are bound to change over time. I’ve lived long enough to have had several ‘favorite’ apple varieties, never mind had enough life experience to know that what I prefer for one use or recipe is not the universal solution for all of my cooking and eating wishes. Even the longtime favorites can be supplanted, eventually.
So while I currently favor Fuji apples for eating plain, a mixture of bright, crisp Granny Smiths with soft and über-sweet Golden Delicious and an in-between variety like Jazz or Braeburn for pies and sauces, and something with interesting color, shape or texture on its peel like a heritage variety to ‘pose’ for my artworks—any of those could change at any given moment. Why, I’ve even been known to draw Red Delicious (a variety that while I’ll grant its being among the reddest of apples I think hybridized to the point of being utterly insipid and flavorless rather than actually delicious) simply because it’s bright and shiny and stereotypically apple-y.
For the most part, life is more interesting to most of us because it offers so much variety and the possibilities inherent in change excite and intrigue our senses. But sometimes it’s perfectly okay to be predictable, too. The comfort of the familiar is also a gift. And once in a while, there’s the amazing possibility that we can surprise and shock others—even our own selves—precisely by choosing the safe and predictable thing when we have all of the options in the world right before us.
Maybe what I relish most of all is simply that I can’t guarantee from one moment to the next, let alone one day to the next, that my own tastes will remain the same, my choices the utterly expected ones. How do you like them apples?