Saturday, December 5, 2009
The overwhelming impression is size. King Luscious looms like a hulking gas giant in the apple firmament. (Update: More on his size here.)
Certainly his color is not terribly distinguishing, a streaky, somewhat dull red over yellow green. The green of the skin in the stem well is bright and saturated like that of Granny Smith.
King Luscious is decorated with many small light lenticels and has no aroma. He sits firm and heavy in my hand.
Due to His Majesty's girth, I did not follow my usual habit of just nibbling away down to the core. Instead, I sectioned the King with a knife.
King Luscious has wonderfully crisp flesh, halfway between fine-grained and coarse, of a light buttery yellow color. His juicy breaking crunch is very satisfying and unusual for this time of year.
The royal flavors are delicate and well balanced, though perhaps a bit watery, with some spice and a hint of pineapple and soy sauce. That is to say that there is a faint suggestion of a savory quality that Winesap has in greater strength.
Despite his size, King L is not a dense and filling fruit on the order of a Blue Pearmain. Still, I did not immediately require seconds.
According to Vintage Virginia Apples (and others), King Luscious was found growing in North Carolina in 1935. Many other sources say the King is a cross between Stayman and Wolf River; some say "is presumed to be," which is more accurate for a foundling absent DNA testing.
His Royal Highness's appealing crunch and even taste make for a very fine late-season snack, though you might want to share the royal wealth with a friend.