Saturday, October 3, 2015
Yes, you can taste some vanilla in this pippin.
Vanilla is not an unusual flavor in apples, where it abuts vanilla caramel, cream soda, and banana.
You can taste a lot of interesting things if you leave behind the narrow bright circle of crunchy hard supermarket apples.
But first, take a look at this one.
My medium-sized Vanilla Pippin, slightly ribbed, arrives perhaps a little beaten up, its small pale red blush over yellow green. There are some bruises and scars and other flaws.
The lenticels in the green are dark brown and russeted, and there's a nice load of corky russet around the stem well which gives the apple a yeasty, almost medicinal smell.
Inside the Pippin's flesh is fine grained and creamy white, with some green highlights that suggest the fruit could be a little on the early side.
The texture is firm but a little yielding. Somehow I have the impression of a custard, though objectively that's not actually a very accurate feeling.
The vanilla is indeed present but not prominent, at least not in this sample. Perhaps another week on the tree would have allowed the flavor to ripen. Pear is more front and center. These flavors are a little succulent and there's a weak spicy note too.
Vanilla Pippin is a mild, well-balanced apple with a good deal of cane sugar. It's both easy to eat and interesting. I recommend it.< This pippin is a cultivar, and some sources locate the original Vanilla Pippin tree in an abandoned orchard in Santa Cruz, California. If anyone knows more I would love to hear about it.