Friday, September 10, 2010

Olympic apple

The mountains are Olympic, wreathed in cloud, as seen from across the Hood Canal in Washington State.

The apple is an early Shamrock from Pike Place Market, Seattle's justly famous green market (map).

I bought a few of these out of curiosity and confusion. They do not look much like the Shamrocks I've had here in Massachusetts, in fact I thought these might be Lodis. They are way out of season for Shamrocks.

Also the grower confidently explained (I am such a sucker for that) that they were a Granny Smith - McIntosh cross, something I am quite sure I have never tasted. So I thought they might be something new.*

Turns out they are not, but I could not resist the camera angle. Here are my tasting notes.

First of all, these show all the signs of early. There's no blush at all, the seeds were all flat white (a dead givaway most of the time), and the flesh was much less crisp.

The flavor was very like the Shamrock I know, though: light and well-balanced, with faint berries-in-lime, a vinous note, and some very clean sweetness.

(Admittedly, this is different language than my original description's "a little spice and berry notes." But I have a better tasting vocabulary today than I did two years ago, when I did not know (for instance) what vinous was.)

Here's another photo of this apple, nestled in the moss that grows so lush in the wet of the Pacific Northwest.

*Shamrock is a McIntosh x Starkspur Golden Delicious cross (back).


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