Saturday, October 31, 2009

Coromandel Red (Knottenbelt Red, Coradel) *

With its cherry-red blush, tapered profile, and prominent light lenticels, today's photo suggests nothing less than an enormous strawberry.

Coromandel is a medium-large apple, ribbed and conical. The lenticels are rough and slightly extruded, providing an unusual tactile sensation.

There's an irregular corona of russet radiating from the deep stem well, and through the open calyx one can see far inside the fruit. Where not saturated, the blush is streaky over yellow-green. The unbroken fruit has a faint mossy smell.

Coradel's flesh is very firm and crisp, a moderately fine-grained yellow-green. Tart very slightly edges out sweet in this well-balanced variety, whose delicate flavors would probably be overwhelmed otherwise. There are sour notes, along with a little ginger and, into the chew, very faint suggestions of berries, cane sugar, and roasted grain.

These interesting, though faint, flavors leave me wondering if Coromandel would not have more to say, were I to try a well-kept one later in the season.

Coromandel Red is named for the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand, from whence this variety originates. I believe it is the same as Knottenbelt Red, a chance pippin discovered (and later developed and patented) by Robert Knottenbelt in 1972.


  1. Where did you find this apple? Thanks.

  2. To Anonymous, above: I bought this apple at Volante Farms in Needham, Massachusetts. They are a wonderful source of apples in season, offering about a score different varieties at peak, including many heirlooms and antiques.

    However, they do not grow their own apples, but buy from several orchards in Central Mass. and New Hampshire.

  3. Anonymous was me. Oops. Ha-ha.


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