Saturday, February 22, 2020

Passing of an Apple Giant

Eliza Greenman reports the sad news:

It is with a heavy heart to report the passing of C. Lee Calhoun, Southern apple hunter.

Calhoun is the author of Old Southern Apples. For many years he and his wife, Edith, operated a nursery that was a source of rare and regional apple varieties.

Greenman met Calhoun several times. Her account includes more about the man, his life, and his devotion to apples.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Apple Stars on Parade

I rate apples from one to three stars.

Once a year at this time, I add ratings for recent finds and make adjustments.

In 2019, I tasted 16 apples for the first time, and resampled some others. Here's my verdict.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Midwest 633

Orange: you would really have to call this flame-colored apple orange, or at least halfway there from red.

This as-yet unnamed apple (633 is just a placeholder) has an uneven blush over yellow, marked in places with many tan lenticel dots.

It is largish and classically shaped, with a deep stemwell that swallows most of the thick stem. There is a small amount of ribbing.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Midwest 681

Crimson apple

Isn't this pretty? Large medium, with a deep crimson red that covers every place except a few shade spots, which are yellow.

The color is a little lighter, pastel-like, just around the base.

Tiny light dots accent the saturated blush, and there is a satiny sheen.

Sunday, January 12, 2020


These classically shaped apples run medium to large with next to no ribbing. Lenticel dots are dark when russeted, as most are, but otherwise hard to see against the yellow peel.

The stem, absent from my photographed example, is long and thin. One of the apples has a green tint in the yellow.

A honey-sweet aroma suggests Golden Delicious ancestry.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sweet Zinger

Large attractive red apple with light spots
Today's apple is another from the Midwest Apple Improvement Association. It is large and blocky and a little ribbed, and feels firm and substantial.

Its red blush is tinted with a dollop of orange and is accented by large tanned dots. The unblushed area is a light yellow, and the peel is attractively glossy.

The stem well is quite deep, and at the other end the calyx is partially open.

Saturday, January 4, 2020


Glossy red apple

This is a large apple, a little broad in the beam but still slightly tapered.

It has a subdued "dusty" orange-red blush that is a kind of streaky over light lemon yellow. The streaks are streaked with a very fine brush.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Small Milestones as the Year Turns

small dark apple in the snow

There was an apple I wanted to know more about. So, last September, I asked about it at the orchard's store.

That's when it happened.

"There's this website," the woman behind the counter told me, apple fan to apple fan."Adam's Apples."

That had never happened to me before. It was kind of cool.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Midwest 311

Will you look at that gorgeous apple!

The crimson blush is so saturated that the prominent lenticel dots look white in stark contrast.

A relief map of red-brown crackles resemble scars.

You can feel them with your fingertips, like a Braille interpretation of a Jackson Pollock painting.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Ludacrisp *

In the midst of the tedious Age of HoneyCrispySweetieCrunch®, the name of this apple made me laugh. At least someone has a sense of humor!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Caney Fork Limbertwig

Mottled red-orange apple with long thin stem

This is an interesting looking apple by many metrics.

Large and round, with really no perceptible ribbing, the Caney Fork Limbertwig is a light lemon yellow about two-fifths blushed with the mottled orange red that you see.

Dark lenticels brood within the blush. They are raised bumps in the unblushed yellow.

And check out that long, skinny stem.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

What's On Tap

Customers selecting apples from cardboard boxes at indoor market
Apples at Somerville's Winter Market earlier today

There are fifteen different kinds of apples for sale until 2 pm today at Somerville's Winter Market, unless they have run out.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Mostly Harmless

Earth rising over the Moon.

On December 2 of this year, when things are usually pretty quiet here, the traffic to this little blog suddenly went through the roof.

On Twitter, Matt Haughey, who has a preposterous 28 thousand followers, had tweeted some very nice things about my blog.

Temporary internet fame ensued.