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'Tis the Season…for Crab Apples

Pucker up for some sour spicy goodness. If you’re Lao or you know some Lao people, then you know what I’m talking about when I say crab apples. Crab apples are so unpredictable and it’s hard to find a good tree with the best tasting crab apples with just the perfect sour intensity to go along with a spicy sauce. I remember last year, or the year before when the crab apples were all deformed and underdeveloped. Or, some say, you can’t pick them after a rainfall because they’ll make you sick. Well, there’s a nice set of crab apple trees that my co-blogger Chanida and I discovered many years ago on the University of Minnesota campus that bears one of the best kinds of crab apples–the little  green Granny Smith-looking ones that pack a sour punch.

So to my surprise, the day I went to pick my crab apples, I noticed that all the ones that were at arms length were gone. Someone had visited and picked all the crab apples before me. I looked on the ground and noticed that none had fallen. This confirmed that they had been picked. On breaks, I would walk to this tree and observe the development of the apples, making sure they were ready. There were only three other people that have knowledge of this treasure and I suspect they had gotten there before me. This just means I have to scope out another crab apple tree and stake claim to it.

If you’re not salivating uncontrollably there is something wrong with you.

Basically, we take the crab apples and dip it in a spicy sauce. Some cut it up, some chop it up and throw it all in the sauce. I like the communal approach where all my friends sit around chatting in between puckering cheeks, squinting eyes, and chomping sounds. This is the summer’s treat: crab apples and spicy sauce.

Spicy Sauce Ingredients: Roasted rice powder, MSG, sugar, chili peppers, chopped shallots and onions, fish sauce. Mix to taste.



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