Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Decio too

Dense, hard Decio impressed me as a likely keeper apple when I tried it for the first time last November. So I held one back to eat near the end of the year.

Superficially, the older Decio is rock hard. It seems to have weathered well the past month in my perfectly ordinary refrigerator.

My sample's sweet aroma is leavened with a yeasty note that is probably related to its crown of russet.

Otherwise it similar to my November sample. I'll add that Decio's stem is thick and its calyx is wide open.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Jonathan and Ruby Jon

I took this photo back in October to show that the beautiful color of Jonathan (right) has the same deep tone as Ruby Jon's.

As his name implies, Ruby Jon is a sport of Jonathan—a genetic mutation that entails some difference or improvement valuable enough in this case for farmers to cultivate.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Apples on the web: A radical orchardist speaks

Since 2014, Eliza Greenman has been sharing her perspective and knowledge about growing apples in her blog, Unconventional Stories from an Apple Farmer.

Greenman's observations often have a critical edge that borders on the subversive, from her exhortation to "Eat Ugly Apples" to her questions about "the ethics currently involved in producing the status quo" in the fruit world.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mysteries in yellow and red

Imagine the World's Most Interesting Apple Gentleman, and an unknown apple.
Some unidentified apples.
He (the gent) inclines his head politely. Squints and sniffs at the apple before taking a bite, measuring its blush, parsing its lenticels.

He swirls the bits in his mouth. Pronounces, "Of the Snow family, I think."

Spits, bites again, chews. Swallows. "Yes. McIntosh branch. Not that that helps us much." The next bite is pensive. "But something else. Cidery."

Another bite. "Well balanced. Sprightly."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Decio **

Let us sample what may be the oldest apple cultivar of all, dating from Roman times.

Of my two Decios, the photo shows one that is shaped almost like a prune plum, though with a little flattening on the top and bottom. The other, not shown, is squatter and more oblate.

Both have a streaky dull orange-red blush over a shade that is perhaps lightly more yellow than green Tan lenticels are not prominent. These small-to-medium apples have almost no ribbing and short, thick stems.

In the photo above, part of what appears to be the nurturing twig is still attached and nestled against the top of the fruit. (Click for a closer look.) The peel has a soft sheen.

Decio feels rock hard and bears no aroma.