Their cheerful sunshine yellow and small rosy orange blush (but not the shape) suggested Blushing Golden, which would have been a find indeed in February.
When I learned they were Mutsu I had to see how they had fared in storage for 4 months.
Mutsu, also known as Crispin, is a fall treat, with delicate attenuated tastes and a great crunch. I like them just fine and might get a few in September but, truth be told, pass them by later in the season because of so many other choices.
They are very good in February, if well kept (these are).
Mutsu also has the virtue of being digestible by many of the poor souls who are allergic to other varieties of apples.
|September Mutsu: As big and blocky, but green|
If so these have not only been mellowing in storage but were allowed to stay on the tree a bit longer than I normally see in season.
My photo shows the yellow, the blush, the blocky shape, and the prominent dark lenticels. These are exceptionally fragrant, bearing lovely wafts of honey, cider, and pear.
This aroma suggests that Apex Orchards, which grew these apples, kept them fresh using refrigeration alone, and not chemicals that inhibit ripening and consequently temporarily suppress scent and flavor.
The flesh of these stored Mutsus is crisp and juicy, coarse-grained and yellow. The mild flavors are melded into apple sweetness but with an incongruous hint of mushroom, as if to remind us that we are eating something that grows outdoors.
A bite from the calyx end has just a bit more tartness, harkening back to the clearer, if delicate, tastes of fall.
Mutsu in winter becomes nearly a different apple, mild, flavorful, and easy to enjoy.
I suppose the next thing to wonder about is whether they ripened from green to yellow on the tree or in storage. If the former then I'll want to try some yellow ones in season, if I can.