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posted: 1/14/2014 5:45 AM

From the Food Editor: Are all apples created equal?

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  • The Opal apple was discovered in Europe in 1999 and has been grown in Washington State since 2010. The apple has yellow skin and a sweet flavor. Because of its composition, it naturally resists oxidation.

      The Opal apple was discovered in Europe in 1999 and has been grown in Washington State since 2010. The apple has yellow skin and a sweet flavor. Because of its composition, it naturally resists oxidation.

  • Glassware maker Riedel worked with Coca-Cola to develop a glass that accentuates the flavor and mouth feel of the iconic beverage.

      Glassware maker Riedel worked with Coca-Cola to develop a glass that accentuates the flavor and mouth feel of the iconic beverage.
    Courtesy of Riedel

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I heard a report on NPR just the other day about a Canadian agribusiness that has developed, through genetic modification, an apple that does not brown when cut and exposed to air. The report explained that when injected with the enzyme that causes browning, browning doesn't accelerate but rather shuts down.

You can cut an apple in the morning and send it in your kid's lunch, or add slices to the salad that you'll serve for a dinner party before guests show up.

Sounds great right?

Except for those two little words "genetically modified." Many people go out of their way to avoid genetically modified foods, unsure what the long-term effects might be.

Turns out there's already an apple in the produce bins that doesn't brown when cut and it's all natural. It's called the Opal apple.

The Opal apple was discovered in Europe in 1999 and has been grown in Washington State since 2010. The apple has yellow skin and a sweet flavor. Because of its composition, it naturally resists oxidation.

Of course I was curious. I started eating one in the afternoon and left the partially noshed-on fruit on my desk. The next morning, the flesh was hardly browned, but it did look kind of shrunken and dried out.

A few days later I sliced an Opal and put some in the kids' lunches and took a few slices to work myself. Sure enough, the slices looked perfectly fresh cut and still tasted delicious.

Opal seasons run through April. You can find them at Mariano's.

Shape matters: You know that the shape of a glass accentuates the enjoyment of wine and beer, but did you know it can do the same for soft drinks?

The acclaimed Riedel family (whose wineglasses have been endorsed by winemakers and wine critics) recently worked with the Coca-Cola company to create a glass that best highlights the aroma, flavors and mouth feel of the iconic beverage. The resulting glass is a bit reminiscent of the wavy Coke bottle. I can't help but wonder if the glass makes a Pepsi taste worse.

Anyway, the glasses cost about $30 for a set of two and would be a perfect gift for any Coke enthusiast (hint, hint). You can get them at riedel.com or at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Little chefs: If you have a pint-size chef with big dreams, head to the Hyatt Magnificent Mile Saturday. Producers of MasterChef Junior are holding an open casting call from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at the hotel, 633 N. St. Clair St., Chicago.

The show is looking for cooking enthusiasts ages 8 to 13 for the second season of Fox's elimination-style competition show. Preregistration is required at masterchefjuniorcasting.com/how-to-audition.

If you can't make it to the open call, producers will accept audition videos through Jan. 24. All the details are online.

Still have questions? Reach out to casting director Ned Johnson at (323) 956-6743 or castingned@gmail.com.

Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at dpankey@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend at Facebook.com/DebPankey.DailyHerald or follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter @PankeysPlate.

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