Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Chenango Strawberry

Round, squat apple with streaky red blush over green-yellow

I had my first Chenango Strawberry two years ago, picked two weeks later than this one (which dates from mid September).

At the time wondered if my apple was a little too long off the tree, and wished for a second chance.

Well I got my wish, and I think this is a slightly better version. What I learned, however, is that I pretty much nailed it the first time.

On the smaller side of large, today's green-yellow apple is about one third streaky red blush. The light lenticel dots in the blush are large.

The apple is wide and moderately ribbed. There is a splash of coppery russet around the stem well.

Of course, there is one flavor in particular I will be looking for when I bite in.

Did someone say strawberry?

The Chenango flesh is fine-grained and crisp, light yellow. It’s pretty dense.

As for flavor set, there is a healthy bit of bracing acidity along with enough sugar to make it all good.

And strawberry? Not so much this time either. There is a generic berry quality, so perhaps this develops in storage. There is also a clear, if not prominent, banana note, and plenty of spice.

2017
So compared to 2017, better crunch, and a whiff of banana that I either missed or that was absent.

(I deliberately did not consult my 2017 review before I tasted this one. I added the comparison afterwards.)

Other accounts, and photos, of the Strawberry describe an elongated, conical fruit. Mine had only a little classical taper, raising the question of correct identification and ripeness.

I don’t have any reason to doubt the grower on this, and mine seem ripe enough. It’s an open question how much the flavors might have changed with another week on the tree. The 2017 tasting suggests they may not have changed much.

This apple is more than 150 years old. Although this year's sample is a little better than the 2017, I am going to keep the older one as my "official" review.

Go there if you hunger for a little more of this apple's story.

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