Tuesday, September 25, 2012
It's worth clicking on the photo for a close-up.
Two of these have small patches that are smooth and overlaid with a faint coppery orange (perhaps the blush) but mostly Pitmaston has a rough russet texture. All have at least a touch of sooty blotch, a superficial sign of a peel flora that is common on low-spray apples.
Beneath the russet layer some regions are more yellow, and some grayer, than others. The peel smells faintly of sugar and hay.
I try to start each tasting without preconceptions, but it's hard not to expect at least a whiff of pineapple.
Pitmaston's dense fine-grained flesh is pleasingly crisp, a light yellow-white. There are many familiar russet tastes: plenty of cane sugar paired with citric tartness make for an intense flavor combination.
There are fleeting hints of vanilla and pear, and some lingering lemonade after the finish, but no pineapple. So much for the power of suggestion.
Pitmanston Pineapple is nonetheless a superior russet, firm and satisfying.
It's an English variety that dates from the 17th century; the learned Orange Pippin, citing Morgan and Richards' New Book of Apples, has more.