Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thome Empire *

What a pretty color!

Thome is a sport of Empire--a genetic mutation, with but a single parent.

Looks count at the market, so a sport that is redder or prettier than its parent can be valuable.

The fruit is medium to large and ribbed, a slightly elongated sphere. The deep plum-purple blush is decorated by many small light lenticels and a dusty blue bloom. It's nice and firm.

Thome Empire's flesh is very light yellow, moderately fine-grained. Its not quite as crisp as Empire, though that might be due to the conditions under which these were kept at the store. Thome's flavors are like its parent's: balanced, sweet, and vinous with generic berries and a (very) little spice.

Assuming that a better sample is Empire's equivalent, this is an excellent snack, and an especially decorative one. To my taste, however, there are more-interesting choices in October, when Thome is available.

Most sports resemble their parents except for one or two particulars--color, or pick date, for instance. For this reason I am biased against reviewing them, and when I've done so it has been accidentally.

That is, I sometimes only discover I've got a sport once I've taken a photo and written up my notes. At that point it seems silly not to publish. Smoothee was one such.

However, some sports are qualitatively different in several ways, and worth a separate review. See Jonagored or Lucky Rose Golden for instance.

Thome Empire was discovered at Thome Orchard in Michigan in 1985--here's the patent.

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