Sunday, February 3, 2019

The (few) stars of 2019

Last year I only tasted 3 "new" (as in, new to me) apples, so this will be short.

Squat yellow apple with faint orange stripesTapered yellow apple with partial red blush and thin stemRed-blushed apple with a faint yellow spot
It's halfway to spring (yes it is!), and it is my custom at this time of year to bring my qualitative ratings up to date, awarding one, two, three, or no stars.

I save these up to do once a year rather than rating apples on the fly.

That is administratively cleaner, and gives me something to do off season.

One star, then, to River Belle, mostly for its interesting bouquet of flavors.

A single star denotes an apple that is "very good, worth choosing."

Two stars means an apple is "excellent, worth seeking."

That describes Scarlett O'Hara, a very promising keeper with a solid crunch and a great collection of tastes.

The name is a little cheesy (who comes up with these?), but frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Criterion, an apparent Golden Delicious relative, is worth trying, even though I award it no stars.

Why: all apples are worth at least a taste. And who says I didn't miss something?

There are no new three-star apples this year ("exceptional, worth a quest"), though I did weigh upgrading one of the twos.

Of these new apples, two—River Belle and Criterion—are chance seedlings.

Isn't there is something romantic about that idea of discovering that prize apple growing bravely on its own? No disrespect intended to the great breeding programs, of course.

As noted elsewhere, a year of finding only three apples to review is a discouraging failure, which I hope will prove an outlier rather than a bellwether.

On that score I am pleased to note that I bagged the ill-named, but flavorful, Juci in early January.

I won't be rating it until next Imbolc (I like some time to think things over), but this is an auspicious beginning to 2019.

Links about the ratings

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