Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Suntan *

How much can I learn from a single flawed sample? A good deal, with some educated guessing.

Physically this Suntan is imperfect. Medium-sized, the apple smells promising but is lopsided and cracked, with spoiled parts. There won't be much to taste.

Probably this is a tapered apple with moderate ribbing, but it's hard to tell.

Superficially the apple is divided into three parts, as follows.

About a third of the green-tinted yellow peel is covered with an orange-red wash that includes some saturated  crimson streaks. Another third is blanketed by a potato-brown russet.

With the cracks and flaws this has been through the wars. It's no supermarket Red Delicious to say the least.

The stem is thick and stubby and the lenticels are mostly filled with dark matter that may also be russet.

The inside of this intense little apple is dense and chewy, with medium-grained light yellow flesh.

Suntan's tart and acid notes hit you right away, but this is more than redeemed by a healthy dose of sugar. This is not an apple that hold back.

Citrus that is closest to lemon and tangerine is strong, along with some spice. There is a little bit of pear and I even got a whiff of vanilla when I nibbled in towards the core.

Parts of mine have a pretty good crunch and I’m guessing a decent sample will have a pleasant, russet-like texture throughout.

You can see where I've resorted to guesswork, but I'm prepared to say that Suntan has a good texture and some concentrated and interesting flavors.

Not an apple for the faint of heart but if you are not put off by strong flavors it offers some intense rewards. I’d eat more in a heartbeat.

Suntan is British, a Cox's Orange Pippin x Court Pendu Plat cross dating from the 1950s.

With so much speculation, I'd be especially remiss if I didn't direct you to some other reviews at Orange Pippin and at the site for the Salt Spring Apple Company.

These corroborate my guesses, and also teach that Suntan is disease-prone and tricky to grow, also that it is likely to mellow agreeable in storage (something mine had not done).

Still there is a thread running through what others write that seems to say, If you like this sort of thing it's a great apple. I do, and I agree.


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