SweeTango Apples – Interview with Rod Farrow of Lamont Fruit Farm – Waterport, NY
Q – What is the advantage to growing SweeTango over other varieties?
Rod: A managed variety like SweeTango means only select grower partners are producing the best fruit to the highest standards, ensuring a great experience for the consumer every time. That consistent quality and managed supply allows us to maintain a price that keeps the variety profitable for us as growers. It provides a great foundation for the future of our business since out of control price fluctuations have dramatic impacts on our income from one year to the next.
Q – Is it worth the investment to switch over to growing this variety? Was it a large investment?
Rod: All new apple plantings are a significant investment. The costs for developing all new orchards, whatever the variety, are significant and very similar but are an essential investment in our future. With SweeTango, it is absolutely worth investing in such a high-quality, well-managed variety. It was certainly an easy decision for all of us in NBT to invest in such a great apple!!
Q – What was your biggest surprise in growing the SweeTango apple – good and bad?
Rod: As with all new varieties, there is a learning curve that’s going to trip you up along the way. We were really pleased at how friendly the tree is to grow — it just naturally forms a well-branched fruitful tree that gives us large apples pretty much by itself. We have had some problems with skin blemishes, especially on the really young trees but experience is teaching us how to overcome that. The good news it it doesn’t have any effect on the eating quality.
Q – How do you feel about the product being controlled and not available to be grown by others? How does this impact competition and pricing?
Rod: Being one of the members of the grower cooperative allows us to set specific, enforceable grade standards that ensure we deliver great fruit to the consumer every time. This is obviously important in driving the repeat sales that keep us in business. Having the ability to match the supply to the demand also maintains a competitive price that helps both the consumer and the grower.
Rod’s message rings true in many ways. Have you noticed the taste and quality of certain fruits and vegetables has changed over the years? A good example is the Honeycrisp apple. I remember the first time I ate a Honeycrisp. It lived up to its name. It was very sweet and crispy, more than any apple I had ever tasted. Over the years, the sweetness and crispness changed and the overall quality of the apple became inconsistent. Today, the Honeycrisp can be disappointing based on where it’s from and how it is grown. The growing standards put in place on SweeTango will help control the future quality of the product.
We personally have really enjoyed the SweeTango apple this fall. Before seeing it in the markets in the Atlanta area, we purchased several while we were in Arizona last month. It truly does have a unique taste which is crisp, bright, sweet, yet a bit tangy on the finish. I’m not one to generally snack on apples, but I have found myself doing so with these. In addition, they have been great to work with in recipes, as I mentioned in the first post about the SweeTango apple. These apples have become a new favorite.
Be sure to check your local markets to see if SweeTango apples are still available, although they do have a short season. If your markets did not carry them this year, then be sure to ask the store manager about securing them for next fall.
Note – There was a giveaway associated with this post, but it ended in November 2013, so the post has been updated.
* Photos courtesy of SweeTango.
Disclosure – I was contacted by SweeTango to help promote their brief apple season in the Atlanta area. While this post was compensated, as always, the opinions expressed on this site are my own.
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I live for the apple pie.
It’s so simple, so basic, but when done right, there is nothing that is more soul-satisfying.
And when people have my apple pie, they purr.
I have liked Sweet Tango on Facebook.
I’ve been reading a lot about SweeTango apples lately and am on the lookout for them! The idea of maintaining consistency and quality through managed cooperatives is an interesting concept. I visited Idaho for the potato harvest and learned about the time and expense that goes into introducing new varieties – I wonder if they have managed varieties. Thanks for this informative post – I like apples just as they are (if they’re good ones!) sweet and crispy in salads or with cheese.
I am now following Sweet Tango on Twitter.
I am @thatSusanW
I already follow you everywhere and have followed SweeTango and entered their sweepstakes or a trio to LA – they’ll save on airfare if I win 😉
I like you on Facebook, dear Bunkycooks.
I follow you on Twitter, where I am @thatSusanW
I subscribed to your RSS feed.
Like @SweeTango on Facebook.
Follow SweeTango on Twitter.
Like Bunkycooks on Facebook.
Follow @Bunkycooks on Twitte
I love apple cobbler!
Like sweet tango on Facebook as Wendy Wallach zephier
Like bunny cooks on Facebook as Wendy Wallach zephier
Follow sweet tango on twitter as @madamerkf
Follow bunny cooks on twitter as @madamerkf
Subscribe to bunny cooks as madamerkf at aol dot com
I can’t win this, obviously, but I am so with you on this. Last time I was in an American supermarket I noticed a sign in the produce section listing the fruits and vegetables that were sprayed or coated with wax. Apples. This scared me! In France, we buy apples from the apple people – they only sell apples and pears from the orchards. Real fruit. And what a difference! Wonderful interview, Gwen, and cheers to the Sweetango people!
Julia child’s tarte tatin…a challenge but such a treat!
I am a fool for apple crisp! The sweet and tangy apple paired with the nuts, brown sugar and oats in the crisp is divine!
Nice story! I actually saw these at Manhasset Whole Foods last week, but didn’t buy because I wasn’t familiar. Now I am, so will definitely check them out. Thanks for the giveaway opp, too. I’ve liked SweeTango, and of course already like Bunkycooks all-around 🙂 – !
Apple pie or homemade applesauce 🙂
I love huckleberry apple pie
I Like @SweeTango on Facebook.
I Follow SweeTango on Twitter @immortalb4
Whiskey Apple Pie. Hands down favorite. 🙂
I liked SweeTango on Facebook. Thanks!
I liked Bunkycooks on Facebook. Thank you!
I am a fan of SweeTango on Facebook! Also, my favorite apple dish is: Slow Cooker Fall Harvest Pork Stew
My son graduated from the Univ. of Minn. He told me about Sweet Tango, and I have been enjoying them ever since. I just like to eat them raw. They are the best apple I have ever eaten.
I love apple crunchie (or crisp as some may call it) It is the perfect combination of crunchy oats and delicious tart apples. I have never tried them with sweetangos, but having eaten them separately I can say that they would make a fantastic contribution to the cause.
I liked @sweetango on facebook. Thanks!
I liked bunnycooks on facebook. Thanks again!
I followed SweeTango on Twitter. And bought a dozen yesterday!
I liked SweeTango on Facebook.