Sunday, October 12, 2008


I had read about Melrouge, a sport of Melrose, but I didn't expect to find any around here. Yet this week they were a few bins down from Melrose at farmers market.

This medium-large apple sports a partial crimson blush over yellow-green. Its large lenticels are light tan (greenish where the blush doesn't reach). It is moderately ribbed and firm in the hand.

My sample apple has a very deep stem well and what may be two kinds of russet--brown stripes in one area and little black stipples in another. The apple also has very dark red dimples in the blush, about 5 mm across. All in all, character rather than beauty.

The flesh is a creamy yellow and is reasonably crisp and juicy. The flavor is sweet somewhat tempered by a very little acidity. The little sign over the bin promised a pear-like flavor, but you really have to hunt for that. Heck, there might be a little melon in there someplace too. The apple flavor is pleasing and mellow, if uncomplicated.

So, how does it compare to Melrose? It's certainly not as pretty. Melrose has more crunch and juice. Still, I like Melrouge better--it's a little less sweet and more balanced.

Possibly, however, the differences can be accounted for by timing, if the Melrouge had been in storage for, say, a week and the Melrose I tasted was fresh picked.

Update: Those unsightly dark dimples are neither characteristic of the breed nor a disease. They are the marks of hail.

Update 2: Another photo of Melrouge.


  1. We grow some of these trees here in S. Wisconsin at the orchard. They are reliable croppers and store very well! I still (01/20/12) have a bushel out in the garage and they taste fine. The apple does have a bit of acidity but is overal a sweet desert apple. They hang on the tree great and are an excellent choice for the backyard grower. They have a nice strong apple aroma but the flavor I will describe as "not much going on". Kind of a generic apple flavor but with a nice cruch and a decent amout of juice. They are nice to look at on the tree as they are very dark red and have a nice russet around the top of the apple. They also produce a lot of nice sized apples without much or any thinning.

    1. I also find these keep well, though I've never tried one in January!


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