Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peace Garden *

Here's a word I've never used before to describe an apple: Adorable.

Just look at this squat little apple with its loose vertical stripes floating in a magenta-tinged blush. I dunno, maybe it's the size, or the way those tiny light lenticels accent the curvature of the fruit.

But you are probably more interested in how it eats.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Koru (Plumac) *

What's great about Koru, a new variety from that apple-breeding powerhouse called New Zealand, is flavor.

Texture and crunch are first rate (though perhaps not quite the thing for those who dislike hard apples).

But at this point crisp, hard, and sweet are standard for the new breeds—a kind of Platonic ideal for the industry and increasingly for the public.

So how to distinguish yourself in a marketplace crowded with nearly identical Platonic ideals? With taste.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Epicure (Laxton's Epicure) *

The National Fruit Collection (U.K.) says that the "preferred name" of this variety is simply "Epicure," but it was given to me as Laxton's Epicure.

Either way it is an old-fashioned apple with a period name, full of interesting flavors.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rockit *

The modern breeds tend to be alike: sturdy, crisp, and sweet.

Today's new variety from New Zealand is all that but breaks away from the pack by virtue of its great crunch, distinctive appearance (these guys are little), and unusual flavors.

These classically shaped apples, a bit blocky, are only about 2 inches in diameter. A cheerful red blush mostly covers yellow.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crabapple square dance

With Gingergold towering behind, diminutive Wickson (left front) and Chestnut crabs do-si-do in early September. (Alas, wonderful Wickson was harvested much too early.)

Friday, September 11, 2015


This cheerful yellow apple holds a surprise.

Crisp and juicy, Blondee offers uncontroversial flavors in the early harvest.

The surprise? The blond one is a sport of Gala, not the result of breeding. Gala is Blondee's sole parent.

Sports usually entail only minor differences form the parent variety, but I think Blondee goes beyond that.

It is truly its own variety, if not its own breed.