Monday, July 4, 2016

Chantecler (Belchard)

The Chantecler, sometimes marketed under the Belchard trademark, is French. This large apple's mellow yellow color signals Golden Delicious ancestry.

Belchard apple

My samples are oblate with moderate moderate ribs. They sport dark gray brown lenticels and a few small saturated red spots like colored ink drops.

These Chanteclers have a little give, but they have been off the tree since October. They have a promising sweet aroma.

Biting in reveals medium-dense light yellow flesh, sweet with cane sugar, pear, and table grapes. The texture is okay given the age: yielding but not at all mealy. I'll bet Chantecler is crisp when fresh and it apparently stores well.

There is a hint of vanilla and a bouquet of light fine clean flavors. Perhaps at harvest these have more tart accents but this is what remains in June. Still not bad at all!

Chantecler was bred by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Angers in the mid 20th Century, a Golden Delicious x Reinette Clochard cross. (The "chard" in "clochard" provides the root for the Belchard trademark.)

Chantecler is not available in New England, where I live. I found mine in France.

The apple in the above photo rests on a granite slab just outside of Notre Dame Cathedral on Isle de la Cité in Paris. It was grown, or at any rate distributed, by Moneyrac Freres.

Notre Dame de Paris


6 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Hope you have (had?) good travels and enjoy many new apples.

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    1. Thank you Steve! It was an epic trip.

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  2. Fine review. We have a second home in France, spending a few months a year here and Chantecler apples are favorites in all the big supermarkets. When fresh they are indeed crisp Superb! I don't think they'd sell in the US because, to be open about the matter, they're plain and scruffy looky, not as Disney pretty as, say, a Tentation or Golden Delicious. But the taste is superb.

    We have a Galarina (French bred Gala version with good disease resistance, long hang time on the tree and terrific storage) in our garden and will probably add a Chantecler. They're that good!

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    1. Thank you, Unknown! Especially since I could not try a fresh one.

      I do think there would be a market for Chanticler in the U.S., the task would be getting them into supermarkets.

      Apart from that, if a local grower brought these to farmers market, I am sure they would sell.

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  3. I'm spending a few weeks in France and bought some of these apples out of curiosity the other day, never having seen them before anywhere in Europe.
    They pack a powerful punch taste-wise - sweet, intense and with more than a hint of pear. The texture of the skin also reminded me of pears. Looks-wise, it gives the apple a rustic, old-fashioned appeal, like it was from that old, garly apple tree at the overgrown end of your gran's garden.
    I never thought I'd be so surprised by a humble apple that I'd want to find out more about the cultivar, but this variety has more flavour than anything I've seen on sale in a normal shop in a long time.

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    1. Lucky you!

      These reports reenforce my wish to try these fresh during the harvest, rather than in late spring after prolonged storage.

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