Juicy, tangy, tart. These were some of the adjectives used to describe the wide array of apples at this year’s Apples and Honey tasting event at Pforzheimer House. On Sunday evening, two long tables in the house dining hall were adorned with colorful fruits and honey.
Students and visitors filed around the tables to taste the offerings. The honey table was adorned with large baskets of bread and biscuits and an endless variety of honey jars from all around the world. Each honey had been poured into a porcelain bowl with a wooden honey dipper so the eager tasters could slather the sweet ooze onto their bread.
The honey hailed from every corner of the globe—it had travelled from California, Korea, Mexico, Brazil, and Rwanda, to name only a few. Now it flowed before the visitors in colors ranging from golden caramel to soft yellow, textures from smooth and drippy to thick and coarse. There were both pure varieties, as well as flavored, like lemon, ginger or even a purplish huckleberry honey.
Lisa Boes, the Allston Burr Resident Dean, was seen scrambling around the apple tasting table, chopping up fine slices of apples onto the small wooden cutting boards. She organizes the Apples and Honey event, and describes what got her started. Managing beehives both at Pfoho and in Cape Cod, she became interested in how different kinds of nectar produce different varieties of honey.
“Now people bring me honey from wherever they travel, like students that go abroad,” Lisa explained, watching the delighted crowd hover over the tables like bees. She generously decided to share her love of honey with others and started the tasting event. Before ducking back in to chop up more apples, Lisa urged me to try an apple called Cox’s Orange Pippin, the favorite of the late Farish Jenkins, previously a professor at Harvard. He passed away recently, but his wife Eleanor still sends apples from their home in Eaton, where they have over 60 apple trees. Fifteen of the apple varieties present on Sunday came from the Jenkins’ apple orchard.
The apples were as diverse as the honeys, some small and tart and others plump and blushing with rosy colors. Unlike the honeys, however, they were all locally grown. The labels next to the apple baskets described in rich detail their size, coloring, uses, and flavors.
The evening was filled with smiles and excited exclamations over the tanginess of an apple or the richness of a honey. A love for nature’s sweet fruits and nectars appears to be universal. Before I left the warm glow of the tasting event I took a last slice of Cox’s Orange Pippin, and the crisp white flesh filled my mouth with a tangy sweetness. Farish had good taste.