Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wickson vs. King David Smackdown

There's no compelling reason for today's side-by-side comparison.
Wickson (L) and King David (R) are both small apples
No one would say that Wickson (L) and King David (R) are much alike. They do not occupy the same niche on any scale.

Each is hard to find and the odds of ever having the happy dilemma of choosing between the two are slim.

Yet today I have, happily, both apples, both from Steven Edholm's farm, Turkeysong, near Ukiah California.

Both are small (King David uncharacteristically so) and have an unusual malt note (stronger in Wickson). And both are outstandingly fine apples.

Wickson is the smaller of the two, still looking, with its long stem, remarkably like an outsized Rainer cherry. It's got a classic shape with an orange-red blush over yellow.

King David is similarly shaped but its blush is a deep pure red, though streaky and less saturated in places. The unblushed peel is also yellow.

Both have a lovely crunch, with crisp, firm, yellow flesh that is medium-coarse-grained and very juicy.

King David is yellower inside, and also sweeter, though both are pleasantly well balanced. Wickson's malt flavor is intense, and there is plenty of lively spicy snap.

King David
King David by contrast is fuller and more cidery, a more-traditional apple taste. He flirts with vinousness but never really gets there. Both have strong, vibrant flavors.

How do they match up against each other? They are both extremely attractive little apples, though in different ways.

From a technical perspective, Wickson's flavors are more distinctive than King David's, but either apple is a treat. Together, a double treat.

The two apples are wonderfully complementary to eat together, although because they are small this experience does not last long enough.

Both of these guys end up as a pile of core fragments and stem in the palm of my hand.


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