Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ananas Reinette *

"Ananas" is "pineapple" in French. This small-to-medium variety is ribbed and conical.

I selected the apple for today's photoshoot for its striking lime-green stripes over a lighter spring green. However, some other samples have distinctly yellow regions, and one has a pale orange blush over one third of its surface.

The lenticels are dark green, though much less prominent in the blush, and the apple is quite firm. It has no scent.

Inside Ananas is tart fine-grained flesh, very light yellow, with considerable balancing sweet. The texture is crisp and good, and the taste bracing and astringent.

Ananas's famous pineapple note, which is subtle, presents early, and the chewy peel persists at the end. In between are hints of honey, pear, generic citrus, and table grapes.

The flavors are well composed, and Ananas Reinette is unusual and pretty. I found the yellower samples to be a bit better and think that the all-green ones were perhaps not fully ripe. This variety may also benefit from time off the tree, but I did not get enough of them to find out.

The little pineapple's origins are obscure, but authorities place it in the Netherlands (French name notwithstanding) in the early 19th century. The 1876 Guide Pratique de l'Amateur de Fruits says this variety is "l'un des plus estimées en Allemagne"--one of the most esteemed in Germany.

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