Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Elstar vs. Lucky Rose Golden smackdown

Two apples from the vast family tree of Golden Delicious, both ready about the same time in September, both medium-sized yellow with pretty blushes. Here's how they stack up.

The superficial resemblance is very close. Elstar, on the right, is a shade greener, and its blush redder, than Lucky Rose Golden at left. (However, one Lucky sample has a saturated blush that is very red.) Both are ribbed.

Elstar's flesh is tender, with a lovely collection of succulent fruity tastes: nectarine, mellon, and pear. Lucky is crisper, its flavors simpler, a subset of those of Golden Delicious.

Both are similarly coarse-grained, light yellow, and juicy. Alternating between the two emphasizes Lucky Golden's subtle pineapple note.

I very much prefer Lucky's crunch, and that whiff of pineapple is a nice surprise. But it can't compete with Elstar's unusual, yet harmonious, bouquet of flavors.

Both are meangingfully different than Golden Delicious, which does not ripen for a few weeks after either of these.

Elstar's bloodlines include Cox's Orange Pippin, while Lucky Rose Golden is, according to its patent, a "sport or mutation" of Golden Delicious.

So while Elstar was bred in the usual way, Lucky, like the goddess Athena, sprang from her father's head.


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