Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vista Bella note

Appreciating the all-too-short Vista Bella season is easy: in July, they are the only game in town.

But these apples would be noteworthy any time of year, and today I found a new taste in Vista Bella's sweet-tart berries-and-wine mix: fake watermelon notes. Not true watermelon, but something very like the artificial watermelon flavor you might find in a child's sweet. (But in a good way!)

I think my previous tasting samples might have been too early off the tree for me to find this flavor.


  1. That fake candy thing is one of my favorite apple flavors. Sometimes it's just like fake watermelon and sometimes it seems more like generic jolly rancher. I guess since apples came first, those candies taste like apples and not the other way around. While we recognize the flavors of fruits we know in them, I think it's the peculiar intensity that brings fruit candy to mind, instead of actual watermelon or whatever it might me. I wouldn't usually say that sweet sixteen can taste like cherries, but more like cherry candy. I've tasted the fake watermelon strongly in Newton Pippin sometimes.

    I'm really looking forward to trying vista bella at some point. I've grafted it, but it might be a while yet until it fruits. It seems to be practically unknown out west here. Just had my first Irish Peach apple though. It was small and stunted, but promising. I found myself chewing the pulp intently and sucking at it to get out more of the intense flavor. That's always a good sign and unheard of in July. Keep an eye out for that one. So far most of my "first early" apples have been disappointing, though I'm already getting some decent Williams' Pride.

    1. I first found this flavor in Vista Bella in 2009. (I think my 2008 tasting samples had not ripened fully.)

      Since then I've noticed it in a few other varieties, including Kendall and Vista Bella's daughter, Empress.

      At full strength this flavor can be jarring, but mostly it works well for me too.

      I think that the earliest end of the season is an unexploited niche with which a resourceful farmer or breeder could do quite well.


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