Monday, February 18, 2013

Stalking Black Beauty apple

Good old Mother Earth News, still composting after all these years, has published Tom Brown's account of heritage-apple hunting in North Carolina.

Brown is a fruit detective after the manner of Southern heirloom hound Lee Calhoun, knocking on doors and searching newspaper archives to locate old apples and budwood.

Here's one I never heard of: Black Beauty, so called because its extreme susceptibility to sooty blotch renders it as black as coal (if not sprayed) when ripe.

Sooty blotch is harmless and not even skin deep, but can you imagine such an apple in a modern supermarket?

Brown's story is more about the chase than the fruit (what does Black Beauty taste like, anyway?) but it makes a thrilling tale.

Thanks to a friend for sharing this link.

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