Eat Good, Local, And Tasty Red Apples

Small, a little flattened and a beautiful red, it is crunchy, sweet, fragrant with just the right amount of acidity. “When it is very ripe, it no longer has any acidity”, even corrects Pascal Papelard, president of the association Croqueurs de Pommes Brie – Gâtinais based in Quincy-Voisins. “And when it has reached maturity, its pulpit is immaculately white. If the apple is a typically Ile-de-France product, the Faro represents a real emblem of the Seine-et-Marne Brie. We find its trace in writings of the Middle Ages which mention this briard fruit with 32 varieties.

Be careful, if you want to taste it, you have to go get it. It may be a symbol, it is difficult to find, even in Seine-et-Marne. In fact, “the Faro only grows on the slopes of the Marne and its tributaries”, underlines Pascal Papelard. So only north of Seine-et-Marne. “If you grow it elsewhere, it will have nothing to do with it.” Those who tried it broke their teeth. “In the last century, there was Faro everywhere in the north of the department. The ancients planted this as an additional income, ”adds the apple expert.

But urbanization has gradually made the orchards planted on the outskirts of villages disappear, as has the disappearance of pastures, livestock farming retreating in favor of more profitable cereal cultivation, as Michel Biberon points out, one of the last producers of Faro. Of its 7 ha of apple trees in Verdelot, 2.5 ha are devoted to Faro. The farmer reserves between 500 kg and a ton of this fruit for retail sale. The rest of the harvest goes into its apple juice and cider. No possible confusion with other apples. “On each tree, there are always a few twin or Siamese apples. It is typical of Faro. For others, you never have that. “

Apple a Day
Michel Biberon is one of the last producers from Faro./LP/Olivier Arundel  

Briard apple is relatively fragile. A lambda apple, kept in the dark, can be eaten ten months after harvest. But the Faro takes half the time. Beyond that, it becomes floury. This lifespan is largely offset by the versatility of the fruit. “It is good in cooking, excellent in juice and excellent in table fruit,” concludes Pascal Papelard.