Sunday, February 8, 2015

A ruby in the frost

Rubyfrost, in some of the white stuff that we have so much of these days.
Just a year ago the only way I could sample Rubyfrost, a spanking new apple from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, was to have a friend send one to me.

Yet there it was last week in my local supermarket. These apples are from the 2014 harvest, which is a rapid deployment to market outside of the Empire State.

So how does Rubyfrost hold up in storage? Pretty well!

Compared to the 2013 reviewed version my current samples have a deeper blush and reveal themselves as a bit blocky and oblate, though still a little tapered.

I assume that's representative (my '13 sample was oddly shaped).

Rubyfrost 2013
The blush this time is slightly less saturated around the calyx end for a "dusty rose" effect, and the lenticels are smaller and more numerous in some of the samples.

Rubyfrost remains wonderfully crunchy, with coarse yellow flesh that breaks off in great juicy chunks. The flavors began with an intense floral hit that irresistibly called to mind Junami, and which I had not noticed in 2013

(Junami is another new variety that is briefly available this time of year. I'd just finished off the last of mine a few days earlier.)

The floral quality faded and Rubyfrost was again the sweet apple I remember from 2013: corn syrup nicely balanced with tartness, with an odd savory note.

I think there may have ben a little deterioration in flavor, but not much.

Rubyfrost is good eating this time of year. And clearly the consortium that owns the rights to this breed is not wasting any time getting them to market.

Speaking of markets, mine had somehow confused these with Lady Alice, a markedly different variety that I hope will grace us with her presence in about a month and a half.

The retailers mean well, but it pays to know your apples.

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