Friday, October 7, 2011

Priscilla *

This large ribbed apple sports a blush that runs to a deep brick red where saturated. Her small lenticels are pink; you must look closely to find them at all.

My sample, besides the usual cosmetic belemishes, is not in the best shape, with a few bruises and soft spots that are perhaps souvenirs of Tropical Storm Irene. Indeed my first bite was mealy, but fortunately not representative. Priscilla's calyx is closed and the fruit has a faint cidery smell.

Her flesh is on the fine-grained side, though not by much, light yellow with a yielding crunch and some soft mellow flavors. This is what the old orchardists would call sub-acid, which means there is no acidity, but it is also well balanced, which means there is modest tartness as well as sweet.

This is a range well suited to showing off Priscilla's delicate floral flavors.
There's also a hint of pear and perhaps ginger, vanilla, and vanilla caramel, which persists into the finish.

This apple recalls Opalescent, an antique variety that I prize, though Priscilla's slightly more tart balance moves her closer (but still not into) the range of vinous flavors. Consequently I was surprised to discover that Priscilla is a modern disease-resistant product of the Purdue Rutgers Illinois cooperative breeding program. I should have paid closer attention to the first three letters of this apple's name.

Priscilla rewards the attentive taster with elegant flavors that are even and pleasing. I should like to repeat this tasting with a better sample, just to give Priscilla her due.


  1. Just a tip to remove sooty blotch. I grow organic apples and was raised around non-sprayed fruit trees. Sooty block and fly speck are usually found together on the skin of apples. The fly speck is usually there to stay but sooty blotch is easily removed with a damp washcloth (works much better than a paper towel) and light rubbing. I picked some Honeygolds this year that had horrible sooty blotch and a few seconds with the damp washcloth and they were clean and shining like the supermarket apples only tastier! As far as I know S.B. & F.S. are cosmetic only and are not dangerous. Don't let it keep you from buying organic apples!

  2. Also, just an interesting fact:

    The name 'Priscilla' was chosen to honor Priscilla Hovde, wife of Frederick Boyd Hovde, seventh president of Purdue University.

    This is from the cultivar website at Purdue Horticulture.


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