Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Razor Russet

The russet that jackets this medium-sized classically shaped apple is fine-textured and a little translucent.

It coats every part of the apple with a thin golden mustard shell that has some olive-green highlights. Greenish lenticels are prominent and large.

The small blushed area is smooth and tinted orange and brown. There are a few faint longitudinal green stripes beneath the russet.

Razor Russet is firm in my hand and smells of sweet cut hay along with something a little yeastier. There is no ribbing. Razor's stem is long and thin.

Biting in: The flesh has the texture, and some of the other characteristics, of a Bosc pear: slightly fine grained, yielding but with a little crunch, and light yellow.

(That's crisp Bosc, not soft and juicy Bartlett, for you pear fans. Actually Razor is just a little crumbly in spots, compared to a Bosc. Or maybe my Razors have just been off the tree a bit too long, as it's mid-November now.)

Pear is by far the strongest flavor. It's not an uncommon one for a russet but Razor may be the most pear-like of any apple I have ever sampled.

There is also a flash of B-vitamin savory that may lie in the russet itself, and a little enlivening citric acidity. One of the samples had the faint whisper of vanilla, the other did not. (Or maybe my taste buds were slacking off that day.)

Eat this with almost any other variety to prove to your mouth how much variation there is within the vast apple family.

I am surprised to learn from many sources that Razor is a sport—a limb mutation—of Golden Delicious. Qualitatively the Razor is very different! and has more than earned the right to be considered a new breed outright, not just a variation.

So I am down with a name that does not bow to the solo parent (unlike, say, "Royal Gala"). But whose razor is commemorated remains a mystery to me.

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