Thursday, October 4, 2012

Carousel (Cameo, Caudle)

Many of these large apples had the top-heavy, lopsided shape apparent in my photographed sample.

They are conical and markedly ribbed, with distinct bumps at their tiny bases.

The blush is twofold: a strawberry red and a deeper darker swath, prominent in the photo but comprising only about a fifth of the whole surface.

The strawberry effect at bottom is amplified by many small distinct light lenticels; these grow bigger and sparser in the top half.

The blush covers a bright yellow green, and there are dark blemishes, possibly the marks of hail.

Carousel's flesh is a coarse-grained light yellow, juicy and crisp. Its sweetness is tempered by a little tart accent for a balanced mild effect.

There are some floral notes that remind me of Gala, plus a little fruity sweet cider.

Nothing remarkable about any of these tastes taken individually, but as a whole the flavors blend and hang together very well. Add the pleasing crisp texture and you've got a good mild apple that is easy to enjoy.

Now for the comedown: It turns out Carousel is apparently just an older name for Cameo. Ouch! This is the disadvantage of entering these tastings "blind" so that research does not prejudice my review.

As you can see, there are plenty of differences in appearance, suggesting the range of possible variation in this variety. I do not find any suggestion that Carousel is a sport or anything other than plain vanilla Cameo.

Differences in flavor may be due to fresh picked versus store bought, handling, or even terroir. The green of Carousel Cameo's unblushed flesh suggests it was picked a little early in the ripening process, something I noticed about other apples I bought from the same grower.

This may account for the minor differences in flavor between the two Cameos. Certainly the Carousel's texture was better.


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