Saturday, August 17, 2019

Ducal Honors for Gatekeeper

Striped ribbed apple

Chances are good these are a named variety, but Josh, from Western Washington, calls them Gatekeeper. That will do since we do not know what they are.

They have a good texture for such an early apple, and painterly streaks of red. Sadly, for eating out of hand these do not work for me.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Feast on these

Yellow apples, some faintly blushed, in a wooden bin

My advice for the week: If you find Pristine for sale, seize with both hands.

Photo from farmers market last Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hightop Sweeting

Green-yellow apple with faint small blush.
I wrote about Hightop just two weeks ago. It was not ripe then, but sometimes one is fortunate enough to get a second chance.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A late report on early apples

green apples with red blush, for sale at Farmers market

And here they are.

They were also "here" last Saturday—at the Union Square (Somerville) farmers market—but I wasn't.

Then on Wednesday violent storms closed Arlington's market before I could get there.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Hightop Sweeting (June Sweet)

Spring green apple with slight small blush

I have several of these small green apples, noticeably ribbed and slightly conical. Two of them bear a small faint blush, and in the blush the lenticel dots make a faint light spray.

The green is light and subdued, a little milky. This is my first local apple of the season and I am excited to have a "new" (to me) variety to start things off with this year. A good omen!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Apple anniversary

Today marks the first day of the twelfth year of this blog, originally conceived as a one-year project.

A garland of apples on the branch

Sight me up for another, if only to counter last year's dismal showing (in the new-apple review department).

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Baby Baldwin

Unripe but partially blushed apple on the branch

Any day now the apple harvest will begin. The soon-to-be-picked apples—Lodi, Vista Bella—are recognizable on the tree.

Most of the later season apples, at this point, look pretty much alike, unless you peer very closely.

They are round, they are green, and they do not look ready to eat.

But don't you think that baby Baldwin, above, is very like?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

More apples to come

A reader writes:

On our island in Lake Mälaren, one hour west of Stockholm, Mantet has matured the most. "An attractive red-flushed early-season apple variety from Manitoba in Canada. The name is a combination of 'man' for Manitoba, and 'tet' from Tetofsky, one of the parent varieties."

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Early fruit

Unripe apples on the branch
These apples were hanging out earlier today at Hutchins Farm in Concord, Massachusetts.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Apple drought

Things are not pretty here at the end of June.

Supermarkets are flush with Honeycrisps picked in August of 2018.

Of course the cupboard has been bare at almost every orchard for most of 2019.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

June apple notes from all over

It's still about a month before the first local apples are ready to eat here.

But in Australia (above), there are still plenty of keepers in good shape from the spring harvest.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The evolution of the apple

Apples are from Kazakhstan. But how did they get from there to circle the globe?

How did they evolve from the wild, and in response to what evolutionary imperatives?

One part of the story: the Silk Road. Another: horses.

Monday, May 27, 2019


a ribbed red appleA round red apple

The best apples are a blend of sweet and tart.

These apples are in or near the sweet spot where the tension between sugar and tartness is perfectly balanced and the flavors sing.

The old pomologists used the term "subacid" to describe an apple that had some acidity in the mix, but which stopped just short of being predominantly acid.