It officially became fall earlier this week, which means it has officially become the time of year where we must all vociferously express our disdain for all the popular food items, flavors, and fragrances of autumn. We’ve all been exposed to our share of pumpkin spice screeds, but that’s so 2013. This year, we must turn our attention to a more hostile scourge that’s been wreaking havoc under the radar for decades: the caramel apple.
The most common caramel apple – other than the ones ambitious Pinterest moms undertake in a moment of pure delusion during which they convince themselves that unwrapping 50 caramel candies and getting the molten proceeds to stick to a Granny Smith “won’t be that hard” – is the Affy Tapple (see what they did there?). According to Affy Tapple’s website,
The first Affy Tapple was created by the Kastrup family. According to history, this was the first caramel apple created in the United States-which is why our tagline is “The Original Caramel Apple!” And, we still use the same caramel recipe developed by Mrs. Edna Kastrup in 1948!
Every year these packages line the shelves at fine retailers like Walmart, and people toss them in their shopping carts without realizing that the recipe was developed by a woman named Edna. The entire concept of the caramel apple begs one simple question: Why?
Seemingly, the caramel apple logic is this: “Wouldn’t it be delicious to pour the melted version of another food that gets stuck in your teeth all over this apple? Then! Before it hardens into an impenetrable shell, let’s roll the whole thing in a bowl of chopped nuts and shove a stick in it.” Have you ever eaten a relatively large apple? It’s not easy, and quite frankly, it’s disgusting. Most medium-sized apples take at least 10 bites to consume fully, and these aren’t the modest bites you’d take from an unfulfilling nutri-grain bar you’re calling lunch during your latest diet. These are aggressive chomps—the reminiscent of the bites you’d take from the flank of a boar if we were still hunter/gatherers. In the Official List of Foods That Make You Look Like A Savage While You’re Eating Them, apples come in third place behind corn on the cob and ribs. THIS IS A NOT A FUN FALL DESSERT, THIS IS A GAUNTLET.
Whenever you gnaw through a layer of nuts and caramel, don’t you want to reach something delicious for all your efforts? Maybe you’ll be surprised by a dark chocolate mousse or a nice buttercream filling—not a fucking apple with cyanide seeds. What’s perhaps the most troubling is that apples are ostensibly the fruit that needs the least amount of good press. People already love apples. Eating what fruit keeps the doctor away? Apples. What fruit do people willing bob for in a germ-filled barrel? APPLES. What fruit has an entire technology empire named after it and appears on the backs of countless laptops in Starbucks all over the world? APPLES!
Apples do not need caramel or nuts. They’re apples—the one fruit that even the pickiest of picky eaters can agree upon. If the challenging consumption factor isn’t enough to steer you away, avoid caramel apples simply because their existence connotes an appalling hubris on the part of its creators. Apples do not need to be cloaked in caramel, drizzled with white chocolate, or nutted on.
Please, stick to your pumpkin spice lattes, your candied corn, and your fourth piece of Halloween candy that exceeded your limit of “just two.” Caramel apples are disgusting, and we need to stop pretending that we’re okay with their existence.
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