Saturday, December 25, 2010

Esopus Spitzenberg

I snagged a small bag of these elusive apples this year and a few were in pretty good shape.

So while I am keeping my original review in place (of an imperfect sample), here are tasting notes based on fresher fruit.

Esopus Spitzenberg is attractive: large and classically shaped with prominent ribs and a slightly conical profile. The red blush has a matte finish and runs from various shades of true red to orange to the underlying yellow. Many large irregular tan lenticels accentuate the shape.

Esopus has a lovely old-fashioned cidery smell with a whiff of spice.

Biting it liberates crisp coarse-grained yellow flesh and rich flavors of citrus (orange or pineapple or a bit of both), a little herbal spice, and delicate whiffs of vanilla caramel, pear, and (sometimes) honey.

Esopus is both tangy and sweet; the flavors are very harmonious and satisfying.

Thomas Jefferson grew this fine variety. More information about the origins, the name, and some history at my full E Spitz review.

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