Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rusty Sweet

A bin of Rusty Sweet looks so much like a mass of Golden Delicious that I asked the seller if these were only a sport or variant of that variety.

No, she told me, they are something else.

This large elongated yellow apple, on closer inspection, is blockier and less conical than Golden D, though there is some taper. A little ribbing, too.

A small faint blush washes orange along with a few saturated red dots like spatters of paint. Lenticels are small and green, and the peel is satiny rather than glossy.

In hand Rusty is nice and solid with a sweet cider aroma. Its calyx is closed.

Biting in reveals coarse yellow flesh that is firm and quite juicy, but only moderately crisp.

It is sweet, though with a little more acidity than mellow Golden Delicious, and bears such GD qualities as honey and pear. There is also the faint suggestion of apricots.

Despite the extra dollop of tart, which leads to a slightly astringent aftertaste, this is a mild and easy apple.

Rusty Sweet should be popular and pleasing to modern tastes, but it is a purely local apple, not an established named variety.

"Rusty Sweet" is just the latest name, or nickname, that the grower has for this variety, and you are only likely to find it at farm stands in the gentle lands around the Concord, Assabet, and Sudbury rivers in Massachusetts.

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