Apples have fascinated me since childhood . We only enjoyed apples during Christmas back then in the Philippines. It was considered an ” imported” fruit. The apples we ate then were from the USA. I can’t forget the aroma of each glistening bright red whole delicious apple, the first variety I enjoyed. This is why I associate the scent of apples to the holidays – and childhood memories of very merry Christmases.
I’ve never gotten over the joy of seeing an apple even if we now live in the States. This is what gets me all excited when we head to an apple farm to go apple picking. There is an apple farm near our home. I look forward to apple picking every fall. We go early on a Saturday morning to beat the large crowds that come from neighboring cities or out of state.
Whenever we went in September to October, the early morning air was crisp and cool.We rode a hay truck around the farm, through dirt roads and narrow dusty lanes.We picked from the assigned fruit of the week, or what was ready for harvest. We excitedly headed to the trees. There were apples on the trees and on the ground. I felt like a child in Disneyland. My basket was not big enough. So many apples, so little time, too small a basket, I said to myself . The sight and smell of apples was intoxicating. I closed my eyes and for a moment it felt like Christmas in September. Apple season had begun.
At the end of the day, I always came home with more apples than we could finish. What I loved best about apple picking at the farm was that the fruits lasted longer in my fruit bowl than those which were store bought.
I always got so carried away that one day I had to admit to myself I didn’t know what to do with so many apples. I had already baked and given away several apple pies, apple loaf cakes, tarts, made jams, put them in Salabat (the Filipino ginger tea) and eaten them fresh several times a day.
I got the idea to add apples to adobo when I was chatting with my cousin, Amy Besa, author of “Memories of Philippine Kitchens” cookbook. She suggested I use the adobo ribs recipe she and Chef Romy Dorotan had in the book and told me adding apples would make a great addition to the dish.
Without hesitation, I quickly simmered a pot of pork ribs in the adobo sauce of vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaves and black peppercorns. As the tangy garlicky stew was simmering away, I added a few slices of tart, crisp apples into the pot of adobo. The result was superb. If you ever try this dish, be ready for the entire family to descend upon you in the kitchen and peek into the pot while you stir the thickening golden brown vinegary gravy. They’ll all say in unison to you “Is the adobo ready yet?”
I wrote about this Adobo Ribs with Apples recipe plus 5 other amazing Philippine adobo recipes from around the world in the FOOD Magazine – September 2013 issue . Check out “Adobo Goes Global”, which was my cover story. This is the Philippines’ largest circulating culinary magazine and I wanted to reiterate to readers around the world that no matter where we are, the adobo dish will always be what defines us, no matter how many versions or adaptations we, Filipinos do.
This is an issue that’s well worth keeping for all the recipes and food stories you’ll find. Download from iTunes this issue of FOOD Magazine (Sept.2013/ Manila, Philippines) and find this Adobo Ribs with Apples recipe plus other mouthwatering Filipino adobo ideas from around the world. A variety of Adobo recipes can be found in this article from the USA – Marvin Gapultos of BurntLumpia.com, Joanne Boston Kwanhull of KapaMEALya.com via Project Adobo, Malou Nievera of SkiptoMalou.net; from Australia – Yasmin Newman, journalist and author of “7000 Islands” cookbook; and from Norway- Maria Teresa Benedicto Bjerke, Filipina ballet school owner in Europe.
*Note: Philippine readers can find FOOD Magazine September 2013 on news stands this month. Online readers can download the digital magazine version from iTunes anytime. Please specify: Food Magazine, Manila, Philippines.
FOOD Magazine photograph (of printed page) by TangledNoodle.blogspot.com
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