Friday, August 2, 2013

Envy (Scilate) *

This apple, like Pink Lady in the UK, is marketed to women. But if Pink Lady's brand avatar suggests a wholesome young mother, Envy is Pink Lady's more worldly sister, exotic and sultry.

Today we can finally blow past the clever marketing and taste the real deal.

First of all, these are hefty girls (I bought three), weighing in at more than 13 ounces each, about 10-3/4 inches around. Just to give you some idea, I photographed one with a Vista Bella, admittedly a small one.

Envy (right) is a large large.
Ribbed and slightly conical, with a deep stem well, Envy has a striking streaked blush. Deep reds mix with shallower washes of crimson that, over the underlying yellow green, can look orange.

Her large light lenticels are most prominent where the blush is darkest, and the peel is more matte than glossy. She has a sweet aroma.

The bite reveals very coarse yellow flesh, satisfyingly crisp and juicy. The flavors are sweet and moderately saturated but not overwhelming. These include a strong floral element and a slightly spicy finish, along with something almost vinous. There is a lingering whisper of vanilla in the tastes it leaves behind.

These are pleasing flavors, but what I really like about Envy is her crisp texture, breaking off in great chunks with a crunch that persists though the chew.

Chefs take note: my Envy did not oxidize at all during the 30 minutes it took me to eat (and write about), making it a candidate for salads and garnishes. The grower claims a cut Envy will go for 10 hours without browning.

Envy is a Gala x Braeburn cross and has inherited the best qualities of her parents. She is a patented variety from Enza; mine are imported from New Zealand.

If now is really the peak time to eat these, they must mature for several months, as the harvest on the other side of the world has been over since April.

Envy is still very much a specialty apple, and I would blush to tell what I paid for mine. The Vista Bellas and Yellow Transparents I got at the Lexington Farmers Market later that day were less than half the price per pound.

But I do not have any trouble eating them, and neither will you.

Also: I eagerly await an apple that is marketed to men. Hey Hombre, this russet's for you!


  1. The UK market is saturated with the Gala variety which in my opinion is mediocre at best. The Envy which I have recently discovered is just lovely. A very pleasing and satisfying apple all round. Regarding oxidizing, I found one of my apples way too big for me to finish in one go (unknown til now!) and left it covered for up to 7/8 hours and it was only just beginning to oxidize about then.

    1. @Anon, yes they are a lot of apple, aren't they?

      Gala quite pervasive here in the States as well.

      Thanks for sharing your direct experience with the non-brownining thing. Can someone remind me why we need GMOs for that?

  2. Hi Adam.
    I would like to contact you by email, but can not find on your website your contact email
    I write from Spain
    I'm a fan of apples and pears (I have a large collection).
    Please if you are interested contact me, go through my personal email

    a greeting

    1. Hola, Jose! It looks as though you found my contact email, since I have a private email from you.

      For anyone else who would like to reach me that way, my email is on my profile page. There is a link to the page in the sidebar at right.

      Jose, do tell us about your apples. What grows well where you live?

  3. Hello Adam
    It has been a long time but downunder still exists. I thought this "breaking news" might be of interest :)

    1. Hello Kiwi! It has been a while.

      Your link is about an online promotional event called "Apple Madness" that a trade group runs every year.

      It is a bracketed contest that takes off of a basketball championship here in the States called "March Madness."

      Looking forward to getting some fresh apples from your part of the world soon.

  4. In 2015 Thrifty Foods in BC suddenly imported a group of New Zealand applies, including Envy, and three other similar apples, to fill their produce sections when the BC grown( and Washington State ) regular apples were over....They were more expensive, but AMAZING in their flavour and ability to stay crisp and sparkling in flavour....I bought 10 to 15lbs every time I went close to a Thriftys store...The continue to bring these in, though otherwise I find them ONLY in every expensive Organic Food Stores....I have seen some grown in Yakima Washington State, but hope we start growing these broadly in Canada...a GREAT group of apples....much more than just a "cross of Gala"....

    1. Caddis, there are a good deal of Gala x Braeburn crosses about. I think Envy is one of the better ones.

  5. I love Envy, amazingly crispy and sweet!


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