Large Opal's lively lemon yellow is dialed back just a notch by a drop of orange. Conical and ribbed, she is sparsely decorated with large brown lenticels and a brown crown of russet. One sports a small spotty patch of pink blush.
Unbroken, Opal has a strong aroma of cider and honey and a whiff of spice. Her calyx is only half closed.
Inside Opal has coarse crisp yellow flesh bearing sweet juices. Her flavor is nonetheless balanced with enough subtle acidity to keep things interesting.
Each bite starts light and sweet with a hint of watermelon candy (where have we had that before?) and settles down to something suggestive of Golden Delicious, with hints of honey, vanilla, and spice.
Oh, and not a hard apple, but the texture is good.
Opal is a gem. Her harmonious flavors and crisp texture are easy to appreciate and at the same time reward the attentive taster with a few subtle touches.
Opal is the daughter of two underrated varieties, sturdy Golden Delicious and snappy Topaz. This apple is a happy meld, as Topaz's crunch and tart notes enliven Golden D's honeyed goodness.
If you detect a pattern you are right: Topaz and Opal are products of the same apple-breeding program. It turns out that the Czech Republic is a sort of apple powerhouse. More apple bling of this sort, please!