(GRAH-vun-steen) apple is considered by many to be one of
the best all-around apples, and is especially good for
baking. Introduced from Germany, the apple is found most
widely on the West Coast. Most Gravenstein apples have a
delicate greenish skin streaked with red, but a few trees
produce classically red apples. These trees are considered
a sport rather than a true variety. Red Gravensteins were a
special treat in the Skinner family, which owned a small
orchard outside the Sonoma County (Calif.) town of
Sebastopol. Red Gravensteins (or "Red Gravs") were saved
for eating, while the normal Gravensteins were used for
baking and cooking.
During the first half of the 20th century, Gravensteins
were the major variety of apples grown in western Sonoma
County, and supplied applesauce and dried apples for the
troops in World War II. Many of the orchards are now gone
due to a combination of development, a shift to wine
production, and economic changes in the apple
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