Saturday, June 29, 2013

Highlights of the last year

This is the time of year when I gnaw on my memories.

A luminous apple hangs in the mist at Gould Hill Farm.
This photo dates from a day-long visit to some of New England's great orchards on a wet weekend at the end of September. Not bad weather for such a pilgrimage as it turned out.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tentation (Delbush) **

This new French apple is starting to be grown in the United States, but my samples today come from New Zealand.

Each of these Tentations is a large yellow cylinder with a gorgeous light orange blush over perhaps half of its surface.

Ribbing is minimal and in one sample only evident at the base, where the calyx is closed and unusually recessed. Small dark lenticels are especially prominent in the unblushed region.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Joburn (Braeburn)

When I first laid eyes on this pretty New Zealand import, I thought, What a great idea! Cross new-fangled Braeburn with heirloom Jonathan for some snap and hybrid vigor.

Alas, disappointment followed. Yes the fruit has something like Jonathan's deep glossy blush, but that's all.

Joburn is not a new breed at all but a sport of an existing variety. It's a redder genetic mutation but otherwise it's just Braeburn.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The most underrated apple

Sturdy, modest, and reliable, is Golden Delicious anyone's favorite?

I turn to it with pleasure in the off season, and apple breeders return to it again and again for its amiable eating and growing qualities.

At its best GD is a lovely fruit, sweet and mild with hints of pear and honey, crisp and juicy but not hard. It is often near its best, and available in supermarkets year round.

There's just enough underlying tartness to balance the honey and deliver a clean finish.