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.

The yellow flesh, medium-to-fine-grained, is firm but more tender than crunchy. Mild, well-balanced flavors of honeyed pear and a whiff of cooked pumpkin and oranges make Early G an interesting montage of the season. One bite has white table grapes in it too.

I'd like Early Golden better with crisper texture, but the flavors are interesting. In any case, this is an approachable apple that anyone would be able to enjoy. The aftertaste is pleasant.

Despite some differences in texture and flavor, I think this is a Golden Supreme, which apparently is sometimes known as Early Golden.

There is also another variety named Early Gold, which may be the same as Earligold. This is not that.

My story: I was leaving the Union Square Greenmarket last week disappointed by the dearth of untasted varieties to try.

On my exit I spied a small table belonging to the Bad Seed Cider Company. Bottles of their hard cider stood colorfully intermixed with a pile of apples, some of which I did not know.

I asked about this apple and learned its name; I asked if I could buy it and learned it was part of the display and not for sale.

But then when I brazenly asked for it, the generous fellow gave me the apple. So I did not leave empty handed after all.

Thank you very much to Bad Seed Cider, may their cider press never fail. Further information about Early Golden (is my guess right?) gratefully accepted.

(Cider folks seem to be cheerful generous types; I wonder why that is?)

I'm pleased to take a second bite at this apple. It's an example of how overripe apples, though not optimum, can reveal additional depths of flavor if they are not far gone.

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