Saturday, July 23, 2016

Devine (Delfloki)

Some unusual flavors commend the apple called Devine (though its variety name is the incomprehensible Delfloki).


They are on the small end of large, tapered and conical. Ribbing is subtle and the calyx is recessed so that the apple teeters on a ring around the base.

"Teeters" because many of these are oddly lopsided. The calyx is wide open, stamens akimbo.

Devine's blush is a streaky red over yellow, including some very dark streaks. Tan lenticels are in some places large and widely spaced and in others many and tiny. The stem well is deep and shows some russetting.

The Divine flesh is a medium-fine-grained yellow, firm and crunchy but a bit yielding (more on that below). It is corn-syrup sweet but not cloying.

The flavors are interesting and include a delicate hint of mint and cocoa at the start of the chew. There's corn syrup, a little nectarine, and some floral notes.

It sounds strange, but Devine's flesh is at once crisp and chewy. The apple's marketing boffins have promulgated the unlovely phrase "cottony crisp" to describe this quality

I find this both unfortunate (who's for a mouth full of cotton?) and oddly apt. The texture in person is not at all unpleasant.

This apple is worth a bite if only for its unusual flavor set.

Devine is not to be confused with an American variety of the same name. The true name is Delfloki. It's a disease-resistant variety developed in the oughts at Delbard Nurseries in France. Here's the Devine pedigree:

Golden Delicious x Grive Rouge, crossed with Florina

Origin aside, I bought these here in New England.

5 comments:

  1. Certainly not this year's crop - must be a good keeper?

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  2. Or is it grown in southern climes?

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    1. I'm pretty sure this is from New Zealand, where this apple has a following (at least among growers).

      Generally, I see southern hemisphere varieties debut in June and July, and northern ones in December and January.

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    2. Oddly enough, my wife brought home a bag of Divine and Lemonade apples from the grocery store just after I read this post. It was a New Zealand apple. How can you distinguish the American variety from the one you reviewed here?

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    3. @Steve: I find that, at least in the U.S., country of origin is usually indicated on the plu sticker or by the seller.

      Otherwise a good rule of thumb is when you see a new variety. It's very unlikely that a grower is sticking Devines in cold storage in November and waiting to sell them in July when they would have an eager market earlier in the year. Growers do that with their surplus. See Golden Delicious.

      Lemonade is a very new variety from New Zealand. I doubt anyone in North America even has license to grow them, but even if someone does the trees won't bear for a few years yet.

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