Thursday, January 23, 2020

Midwest 681

Crimson apple

Isn't this pretty? Large medium, with a deep crimson red that covers every place except a few shade spots, which are yellow.

The color is a little lighter, pastel-like, just around the base.

Tiny light dots accent the saturated blush, and there is a satiny sheen.

This apple has a slight taper. There is just a little give in my hand but is has been sitting in my mudroom for the past few weeks, and in someone else’s storage for a few months.

Great Crunch

This apple has a really terrific breaking crunch into light-yellow flesh that is coarse-grained and juicy. The flavors are similarly light, and mostly sweet, but with a little balancing tartness to set things off.

I am embarrassed to say that I am mostly stumped by these flavors. There is a generic floral note that shows up toward the end of the chew and lingers in the finish.

There is something that is maybe like berries and something that is maybe like spice.

I am tempted to put it like this. If you ever longed for a really good Delicious apple but were disappointed (and if you ever did, then you certainly must have been), you might find your heart’s desire in this one.

It reminds me of a Mollie’s Delicious in that respect, though the crunch is better.

But I might be misunderstood. I will say that I like this one a lot.

I think 681 must have some really good keeping qualities, too, to be so good in January.


This number is just a farmer's notation. 681 keeps track of this variety while it is being evaluated for possible development, that is, propagation and marketing.

If 681 ever reaches that stage, it will be patented and given a formal variety name such as MAIA45. In the old days that would have been something you could pronounce, like "Easy Red."

Then 681 would get a trademark under which it would be sold to the public. Judging from other names from the group that develops these, it would be a name that does not take itself too seriously. Easy Red™ anybody?

In the old days, the variety name would have been "Easy Red" (for instance) and there would not have been a trademark at all, but that ship has sailed.

Meanwhile, 681 is the original telephone area code for all of West Virginia.


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