Sunday, September 28, 2014

Crimson Crisp vs Jonathan

Today we pit Crimson Crisp, a modern breed from the Purdue Rutgers Indiana cooperative, against Jonathan, which is two hundred years old. Indeed Jonathan is Crimson Crisp's great grandfather.

Crimson Crisp at left, Jonathan at right
That's only one sixteenth Jonathan, but it's enough to make me curious about these two varieties, which ripen close enough to permit a comparision.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Early Golden is Golden Supreme

This apple was a gift called "Early Golden." It is my ungrateful business here to look all apples in the mouth, gifts included. In this case it looks as though I found a slightly overripe (but not unpleasant!) Golden Supreme.

This medium-sized apple is a beautiful pure yellow flecked with dark gray lenticels, especially on the sunward side where a faint blush adds a subtle orange cast.

My Early Golden is classically shaped, both conical and oblate with modest ribbing. It is very firm in hand with a calyx that is mostly, but not completely, closed, and it smells faintly of cider and honey.

Monday, September 22, 2014


These intense dark red spheres, decorated with tiny light lenticels, have a marvelous gem-like quality. Dolgo is small, though large for a crab apple.

They are moderately ribbed and slightly elongated, and have trouble standing upright because their tight-as-a-drum calyxes are outies.

The backs of these blush lighter and less saturated, and bear many more lenticels, close-spaced.

Dolgo is rock hard and, unbroken, has the faint aroma of cider with some lively spice notes.

The grower flagged these as "cider apples," as in hard cider; these are notoriously inedible. So, spitter?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Today's Starkeys (I have 2) are medium-sized and slightly ribbed. One has a streaky red blush, the other a mostly solid one, each covering a bit more than half of the lively spring-green peel.

The blush is enlivened by large lenticels sparsely distributed

Starkey has a thick short stem and a closed calyx. It is quite firm in hand.

This is a celebrated old variety and the question as always is, How does it eat?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Macoun

On the small side, with some light hazy bloom, ribbed, freckled, gorgeous.
It's still a wee early for Macoun but you know what? It's still great.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marshall McIntosh

Large and classically shaped, slightly ribbed, Marshall Mac wears a saturated red blush over a bright spring green.

Many light lenticels, some large, decorate the peel. They are especially visible in the blush.

White fine-grained flesh, tinted green, is a little spongy. The apple is tart tempered by sweetness, with classic McIntosh flavors of berries and wine (for the vinous definition of wine).

Flesh color and texture suggest this apple was picked a little early.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dandee Red vs. Paula Red smackdown

Today's bout pits an apple against its sport to see if there is any meaningful difference other than color.

Paula Red (L) and Dandee Red.
Sports are genetic mutations of existing varieties. Typically they are just redder or earlier or something like that.

Occasionally the differences are great enough to yield a variety that feels wholly original, as with Lucky Rose Golden. Is Dandee one of those?

Paula is probably the best early-summer McIntosh-type apple, so whatever the outcome I look forward to eating it and its mutant clone.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kimball Fruit Farm

Many choices at Kimball Fruit Farm last Saturday
I've been buying their apples at farmers market for years, but never visited Kimball Fruit Farm at its home in Pepperell Massachusetts until last weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dandee Red

Dandee is a large and slightly ribbed apple with a handsome saturated blush that covers nearly all of an otherwise green yellow peel.

The blush is a rich crimson with some purple. A smoky blue bloom adds visual interest.

Light lenticels run from large to small to indistinguishable.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Gravenstein notes

The notes are mineral and even metallic, and I am finding them this summer in Gravenstein apples picked a bit too soon.

These fruits also bear undeveloped pips, another indication of over-eager farming.