Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jonafree *

The blush of this small medium-sized apple runs from streaky to saturated, where it can be a true deep red. It is round with some ribbing and small light lenticels that are widely spaced.

Jonafree's flesh is satisfyingly crunchy and juicy, a coarse-grained yellow. It is firm and crisp enough to break off into delightful chunks. The flavor is sweet with balancing tartness showcasing simple rich fruity flavors with perhaps hints of cane sugar, pineapple, and, briefly early on in the chew, bananas.

Strange to say, the pleasure of eating this crunchy juicy apple distracted me from the taste. I like it a little better than I do Jonathan, another fine variety that is more than 175 years old.

Jonafree is a product of the Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois breeding program and is 25% Jonathan by ancestry. The name suggests a Jonathan-like apple that resists pests and disease. Despite the name and some superficial similarities these varieties are not much alike.

Update: I compare Jonafree to its namesake, Jonathan, here.

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