Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rhode Island Greening *

Various sources date Rhode Island Greening to 1650, making it one of the oldest New England varieties still enjoyed today.

This fruit is generally medium-sized, though my test apple is a little bigger than that. It is lopsided, ribbed, and a yellow-green with darker green blotches. A light orange-red blush covers perhaps a quarter of its skin, which has large brown lenticels, also similar brown russet spots radiating from the base.

(Other photographs of the Greening show light lenticels, so perhaps the brown I observed is really more russetting, in this case of the fruit's pores.)

Greening's flesh is light yellow and coarse, firm and somewhat tender. The flavor is lively, mildly tart and acid with some balancing sweetness, hints of cider, grape, and lemonade. In towards the core is more tart and acid, with a little pine. Slight residual astringency.

Other names for the Greening are Burlington, Ganges, and Green Winter Pippin. It is also esteemed for cooking.

New Englanders have been eating this flavorful apple since Colonial times. Rhode Island made it that state's official fruit in 1991. A gustatory time capsule, its refreshing qualities continue to please.


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