Sunday, July 19, 2009

Braeburn *

This attractive variety has a red blush over yellow green, accented by many tiny light lenticels. At its deepest the blush comprises darker and lighter streaks together. The lenticels, which are dark green in the unblushed skin, crowd the bottom third of the fruit and grow sparse near the top.

Braeburn runs medium to large and is moderately ribbed. My sample is fragrant, firm, and--see the photo--glistening with wax.

The flesh is creamy yellow and medium coarse. Braeburn is satisfyingly crisp and juicy, with a mild, sweet flavor. Although the tastes are mostly generic, there is some complexity and a hint of oranges and I wonder what else might come to light were there more balancing tartness. Neither the flavor nor the sweetness is so concentrated as to cloy, and the general effect is refreshing and not without interest.

Braeburn began life as a chance seedling found in a New Zealand orchard in the middle of the last century. It needs lots of sun, which may be one reason why Brogdale notes, "This particular clone quite often fails to mature fully in the UK."

This variety stores and travels extremely well.


  1. I am working my way through a bag of these from the grocery store. They have a nice sweet taste with a slight zing. The best ones of the bag had a nice berry flavor to them. Overall the texture was more on the soft side although some were moderately crunchy. Overall not a bad apple to munch on in early Spring!

  2. Individual specimens of many apple varieties vary, but Braeburns seem to vary more than most, in my experience. I picked out some firm yet highly colored ones at the store a few weeks ago that were great--but since then my supermarket searches have yielded ones that are are either greener without the complexity or redder and verging on mealy....

  3. Just enjoyed a very good New Zealand Braeburn. I've had many Braeburns over the years but never one with the spicy zing that this one had - still feeling the light sizzle on my tongue.

    1. @Steve: Sounds like you hit the sweet spot!

      Also, your report could be an entry in the hypothetical blog (suggested in jest by a reader who finds Braeburn to be especially variable) called "The Braeburn that I Ate Today."


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