That makes for a lot of orange where the yellow bleeds through the thinnest part of the blush. That spot is also where the brown lenticels are the most prominent.
Mother's peel sports more satin than shine.
It's hard to say what shape these would be if pristine, but there seems to be a small amount of ribbing. The apple in my photo is the more elongated of the two.
Besides the odd bumps and indentations, and a few hard little scabby lumps, these apples show some signs of bugs. Have no fear, gentle reader: no extra protein in this review.
Despite all that these have been through on and off the tree, the apples feel firm and have a wonderful sweet aroma. The calyx of each is closed.
Inside, medium-coarse-grained flesh, light yellow, is moderately crisp but heading towards granularity Probably these samples are past their prime.
Still their flavor is very good, though the chew starts with an earthy mineral note that might be off-putting to some. In the transition from that to the sweeter lighter flavors lives, in my better sample, a flash of something nutty followed by a quick hit of melon.
These in turn give way to some rich cidery flavors with faint floral and spice notes and a lovely sweet finish that is like vanilla, yet not vanilla.
People say of this apple that it has an indescribable flavor. I wonder if that is it.
The foregoing describes a sort of idealized bite of this apple. I did find all of these many interesting flavors, but not consistently. My samples did not have great texture either. I chalk this up to conditions and timing, at least in part.
Despite that, Mother reminds me of another fine heritage variety, Esopus Spitzenberg.
|A Mother swaddled for transport|
John has his own apple web site, or perhaps I should say sites, that I reviewed in 2010.
Mother, also known as American Mother and Bolton Mother, originated 200 years ago in the Town of Bolton, Massachusetts.
The Bolton Historical Society has some information about Mother on this page. According to Vintage Virginia Apples she is also called Gardener's Apple, Queen Anne, and Mother of America.
Of these apples John told me, "Last year I picked them on September 12, but this year it was September 28 before they seemed ready enough to pick." I should like to try Mother again.
P.S. It appears that Apples of New York (1905) thought of the Esopus comparison first: