The first of these luminous beauties had been off the tree too long.
The second was picked too soon.
But the third was just right.
Yellow Transparent, an heirloom from Russia, is small with a pale yellow skin and green lenticels. These are slightly conical and slightly ribbed. Most of my tasting samples had a very faint pink tinge on the sun-kissed side. The overripe one (shown) bruised very easily.
At eating peak, the flesh is crisp, medium-coarse, and juicy. The flavor is tart, a sort of Granny Smith lite, with some lime and a little gingery spice. There's a hit of lemonade in the bites I took from the Calyx end of the fruit, and a faint suggestion of cream soda.
This light, lively apple serves up refreshing tastes with verve and snap. It's not overwhelmingly sour, but if sweet's your thing this might not be for you. I liked mine a lot.
These early varieties have a very small pick-and-eat window, so I'm not surprised that some of these were pre or post prime time. According to the handy harvest calendar from Red Apple Farm, who sold me my fruit on Tuesday, this year's crop was picked a week earlier than normal.
Update: As noted in the comments, this apple looks an awful lot like some others sold to me as Lodi two years ago. As it turns out, those were really Yellow Transparent too. (The real Lodi is similar, though in my opinion not as fine.)
So this is a second review, a spare. In some ways my taste-buds are more acute today, though I think the two-year-ago samples were closer to peak. So it's your choice: greener apples this year, or a greener taster from 2008 (here).