These apples were so handsome that I could not resist buying a few to see if there are any differences in texture or taste versus the original.
My sample today, like many of the Staybites I saw, is big, much larger than other Staymans I have seen. But another one is just medium-sized.
The shapes vary, from oblate to conical. There is a little ribbing.
This apple has Stayman's understated blush, a dark red that is pretty solid over green, decorated with prominent light lenticels. It's very firm to the squeeze.
Staybrite's flesh is crunchy and wonderfully juicy but, alas, a light green, betraying a decision to pick too early.
The texture suffers too, probably not as cleanly crisp as that of a fully ripened Staybrite, and the flavors are undeveloped and obscure. The sweet-tart balance is good, though.
There's a little honeydew flavor, something I did not notice in more-ripe Staymans, and a little spice at the end, something I did.
|Big and little Staybrites|
Why pick early? There are many possible reasons, but speaking as a consumer rather than a farmer my reaction is regret.