To be fair, I'm not totally sure this is a valid product for my blog. Does this apple have the Trader Joe's brand slapped across the sticker? Noooooo. So can you really call it a Trader Joe's Opal Apple? Noooooo.
Turns out, my rules (to feature only TJ's products on a TJ's blog) are more like guidelines. But these opal apples showed up in the Fearless Flyer, so I took them for a spin, mainly because of the outrageous claim that these apples resist oxidation. Whaaaaaat.
My kitchen lighting just wasn't having it. These pictures make the apple more orange than they actually are. In real life, they appear more yellow, kind of like a golden delicious apple. According to the internet, these babies are non-GMO and are attached to some community nonprofit initiative, which is awesome if you're into that kind of thing. As for me, this planet money episode has my mind churning with a bunch of questions. The opal apple site lists all the retailers in 50 states where you can find these apples, but they don't name Trader Joe's! What's up with that? Where do they get them from? Probably the same supplier, but do they pay them extra to keep their business partners secret? Is that why they cost $1.19 EACH?? (Which is apparently a deal because they normally run $1.29 each..)
So I tested this oxidation resistance thing. Here we are at the start. No lemon juice or saltwater treatment. This is au natural.
Below is one hour later. If we're being nitpicky, then yes there's some oxidation. But look! The apple slices have retained most of their original color. If this were a normal apple, it would have browned like crazy by now. Rather impressive, no?
And then I thought, why not leave it overnight? And in the morning, the skins shriveled up a little, the color is visibly browner, but still not nearly as bad as a normal apple. What is this sorcery.
Conclusion: the oxidation resistance is completely valid. How? I have no idea, but somebody out there is raking in the big bucks for this discovery. I did enjoy this apple very much. It tastes very similar to a fuji and has a crispness just shy of a honeycrisp, which in my book is nearly perfection. A could not contribute his thoughts because he broke out in a fit of itchy lips after one slice. Oops.
If you do plan to shell out $1.19 per apple - which let's be real is still cheaper than store-bought kale chips, green juice, and asparagus water - please make sure you get the nice big fat ones. TJ's suggests you maximize the oxidation resistance by using it in salads or whatever, but I say just eat 'em. They are wonderfully sweet as is.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Opal Apples. A fuji-esque yellow apple that resists browning. Whaaaaat. 7 out of 10.