Friday, October 14, 2016
This hefty classic may be the second-most famous product of the apple-breeding program at the University of Minnesota. (The first? Need you ask?)
Thanks to a generous reader, I have two Haralsons straight from the North Star State. My description leans on the better of the two.
The round shape of this large apple is uninflected by ribbing. (Okay, there's a little ribbing on the second apple.)
A subdued streaky red blush with pink “dusty rose” tones (a second sample is streakier and more conventionally red) is decorated with large, distinct tan lenticels.
Beneath the blush the spring green peel has a silvery sheen, and the whole thing is satin glossy.
These smell sweet and a little grassy.
Crunch time: Haralson has fine-grained light-yellow flesh that is reasonably crisp. Mine is sweet and a little tangy, with a chewy persistent peel. A decent dollop of tart provides balance.
There's a little spiciness and unripe table grapes; hint of berries. A dash of savory is in the mix, but the overall effect is still light.
A second sample is streakier, blockier, and shows very slight ribbing.
Number two has tart accents some might not like. This acidity is not especially citric.
Haralson is an early success from the Minnesota breeding program circa 1920s, when the emphasis was on creating cold-hardy varieties that would serve northern farmers.
This apple's seed parent is a chance pippin from New England (some say Vermont) called Malinda. Based on DNA evidence, some say the pollen parent is Wealthy.
Haralson is also the parent and grandparent of many subsequent varieties. There's some evidence it's an ancestor of Honeycrisp.
This is a distinguished apple, but not a distinctive one. The tangy, savory notes are however interesting.