Sunday, September 27, 2015

Koru (Plumac) *

What's great about Koru, a new variety from that apple-breeding powerhouse called New Zealand, is flavor.


Texture and crunch are first rate (though perhaps not quite the thing for those who dislike hard apples).

But at this point crisp, hard, and sweet are standard for the new breeds—a kind of Platonic ideal for the industry and increasingly for the public.

So how to distinguish yourself in a marketplace crowded with nearly identical Platonic ideals? With taste.

Koru's is rich and cidery, with hints of orange juice and something tropical in the mix. There are also little spice, some floral notes, and a very faint whisper of vanilla.

Also, I noticed a savory note in the aftertaste of some samples.

The container of all this flavor is handsome enough, moderately tapered, squat, and ribbed.

Koru's crimson blush, over green-tinted yellow (which lends an orange cast), includes some dark red streaks, with large tan lenticels adding even more visual interest.

Many of my samples came with a bit of russet in the stem wells.

Its a good thing I had multiple samples, by the way, because the first Koru I tried was not up to snuff.

It was crunchy and juicy enough, with crisp coarse-grained yellow flesh, and plenty sweet, but the flavors were mild. It reminded me of Fuji.

Koru's full flavors are good, though I suspect I was missing some because of all that sugar. (Too much sweet or tart can overwhelm individual tastes.)

But the interesting point for me is that marketers are increasingly promoting varieties that, like Koru, are distinguished by how they taste. It's a trend I welcome.

Koru is a trademark, while Plumac is the actual variety name. The apple was discovered rather than bred, a chance seedling, but Fuji and Braeburn parentage are suspected.

Koru is a Maori word "for the new unfurling fern frond as it unfolds to create a new leaf," according to the Koru web site.

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