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Steve Rindsberg
03-28-2005, 12:32 PM
Drifting into relevance?!? Omigod.

Food. Somebody mention food. Fast!

What's your favorite breed of apple?

Franca
03-28-2005, 01:14 PM
What's your favorite breed of apple? Braeburn. Preferably from Australia or New Zealand where they really know how to grow them. I know it was a rhetorical question, but I had an answer anyway. ;-)

ElyseC
03-28-2005, 02:39 PM
Braeburn. Preferably from Australia or New Zealand where they really know how to grow them. I know it was a rhetorical question, but I had an answer anyway. ;-)Nah, Pink Lady. There's also an apple grown by a little old man in Upland CA and he's grown it for decades without knowing what kind it is. He sells it at the local farmers markets out there, which is where we discovered it. Best apple we've ever had. Hands down.

Saved some seeds from one a few years ago and will perhaps try planting them here in Iowa. Gotta take up where my hubby's famous relative* left off, I suppose. :-)



* John Chapman, a.k.a. "Johnny Appleseed"

Franca
03-28-2005, 02:49 PM
Well, it would have to be a real Pink Lady, not what you find in the grocery store. The only tasty Pink Ladies I've ever had were hand picked (by me) in Frog's Leap Winery's organic garden in the Napa Valley. They were superb - but alas, I haven't had a good once since, though hope springs eternal.

Yes, do carry on the family tradition and plant some of those seeds! :)

ElyseC
03-28-2005, 03:05 PM
Well, it would have to be a real Pink Lady, not what you find in the grocery store. The only tasty Pink Ladies I've ever had were hand picked (by me) in Frog's Leap Winery's organic garden in the Napa Valley. They were superb - but alas, I haven't had a good once since, though hope springs eternal.These are real Pink Lady variety, though not picked by hand by me. They're organic, definitely. That's all we buy.

I have had some good Jonagolds in times past, but it's been a while.

And then there are a whole group of friends who refuse to buy anything but Fuji. Baffles the heck out of me, because every time I've tried a Fuji it hasn't had any flavor!

Franca
03-28-2005, 03:19 PM
Fujis tend to disappoint me as well. I prefer some tart in my apples. Texture is also important. IMO the most misnamed and overproduced apple is the Red Delicious. Yes, it's red, but .... :-p

ElyseC
03-28-2005, 03:51 PM
Fujis tend to disappoint me as well. I prefer some tart in my apples. Texture is also important. IMO the most misnamed and overproduced apple is the Red Delicious. Yes, it's red, but .... :-pNo argument from me on that one! Ick! And yet I know others who won't buy anything but RD. It was pretty much all we had when I was growing up. As I got older occasionally Golden Delicious were available, but the local view was that firm, tart apples like Granny Smith were only for cooking/baking, not for just plain eating raw. When I was a teen we got hold of Jonathans and I thought I'd landed in Heaven! They made the best caramel apples I'd ever had!

Now here I live again and the people (well, except for those few, weird RD hold-outs) have changed their tastes. Gala now seem to be the top seller, but Cameos are getting some attention. The few people I've talked into trying the Pink Lady are now hooked on them, but they're not as available as Cameo and, especially, Gala.

Pity our seeds (assuming they'll grow) will take many years before we can hope for fruit. I do hope we don't have to figure out grafting to get them to go, but we do have some apple-growing friends here who run a local orchard and used to have a decent apple operation in the state of Washington. We'll bug them for advice. Heck, maybe they'll want to take the seeds and watch over their growth for us using their expertise.

annc
03-28-2005, 05:01 PM
Well, it would have to be a real Pink Lady, not what you find in the grocery store. The only tasty Pink Ladies I've ever had were hand picked (by me) in Frog's Leap Winery's organic garden in the Napa Valley. They were superb - but alas, I haven't had a good once since, though hope springs eternal.

Yes, do carry on the family tradition and plant some of those seeds! :)I'm partial to a good Pink Lady, but only buy them fairly early in the season.

I don't recall ever seeing a Braeburn, btw. <g>

annc
03-28-2005, 05:06 PM
Fujis tend to disappoint me as well. I prefer some tart in my apples. Texture is also important. IMO the most misnamed and overproduced apple is the Red Delicious. Yes, it's red, but .... :-pMy mother loves Red Delicious, and they're quite good early in the season, but they turn floury so quickly and unobtrusively that I shy away from them. My mother loves them, and my father used to eat nothing else. When I was living at home, I refused to eat apples as soon as I was old enough to get away with such a refusal.

Franca
03-28-2005, 05:28 PM
I don't recall ever seeing a Braeburn, btw. <g> Interesting - I was introduced to them for the first time in New Zealand. Within a year or two they started to appear here, imported from New Zealand. Around the same time some enterprising souls must have started growing them in Washington state because in another few years domestic Braeburns began to show up in the grocery stores. I don't know why you don't see them. ?? Do you see Fujis and Galas? First ate those in New Zealand also.

Franca
03-28-2005, 05:31 PM
It's only thanks to my parents that I ate apples at all as a child. Nothing but Red Delicious at school or picnics, and they'd also turn up in our Halloween candy bags. That was before the paranoia about unpackaged treats. Sigh.

ktinkel
03-28-2005, 06:00 PM
INothing but Red Delicious at school or picnics, and they'd also turn up in our Halloween candy bags.Now Yellow Delicious is another story entirely.

Of course, no apple is any good after months of storage. Fresh is best.

Stephen Owades
03-28-2005, 06:31 PM
Drifting into relevance?!? Omigod.

Food. Somebody mention food. Fast!

What's your favorite breed of apple?
Most of the conversation here has been about West Coast or New Zealand apple varieties. As a Northeasterner, I have to stick up for the superiority of our area's apples. The Macoun is my all-time favorite, but unfortunately they don't keep well and are rarely found outside of the region. I ship a case to my father in California every fall, since he misses proper apples out there. The Macintosh is more widely available, and is also a superior eating apple.

Jonathan
03-28-2005, 06:59 PM
Saved some seeds from one a few years ago and will perhaps try planting them here in Iowa.It doesn't work that way, I'm sorry to report.

Every apple seed, even from the same apple, is likely to produce a different variety, and most of them won't be good to eat (or cook with!), but most can still be pressed for cider. Virtually none of them will be the same as the apple from which the seeds came.

The only way to propagate a particular apple variety is from a cutting or bud. Most of the trees Johnny Appleseed (http://www.umanitoba.ca/afs/hort_inquiries/fruit_and_fruit_plants/johnny_appleseed.html) planted were only useful for making cider, which, at the time, was a very important crop.

Franca
03-28-2005, 09:28 PM
It was many years ago, but I seem to have fond memories of a Northeastern apple called the Northern Spy. ??

Michael Rowley
03-29-2005, 07:10 AM
Jonathan:

'The only way to propagate a particular apple variety is from a cutting or bud'

Thank goodness someone's injected some male realism into this sub-thread. Saving seeds can give some interesting results though: many varieties originated from seed, e.g. the famous Bramley Seedling, which may be used for the apples pies in America too. Takes an awful long though, and you may find you've reinvented the crab apple.

Paul
03-29-2005, 10:34 AM
Most of the conversation here has been about West Coast or New Zealand apple varieties. As a Northeasterner, I have to stick up for the superiority of our area's apples. The Macoun is my all-time favorite, but unfortunately they don't keep well and are rarely found outside of the region. I ship a case to my father in California every fall, since he misses proper apples out there. The Macintosh is more widely available, and is also a superior eating apple.

Well, my favorite is the Cortland, but I only like it in the fall when it is fresh (Cortland is a mediocre keeper), and I've been disappointed in the Cortlands available here -- I have liked them most in Ohio and New England.

Paul
03-29-2005, 10:36 AM
It was many years ago, but I seem to have fond memories of a Northeastern apple called the Northern Spy. ??

Northern Spy is an outstanding pie applie, in particular, but very few orchards grow it nowadays. That's partly because of changes in the market, but also partly because Northern Spy trees bear fruit erratically, sometimes only in alternate years.

djb
03-29-2005, 10:58 AM
What's your favorite breed of apple?

My current favorite is the Gala, or Ambrosia. In the fall, when I can step off the front porch and pick them, Norland is my fave.

Molly/CA
03-29-2005, 04:33 PM
I'm reading Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire and about a fourth of the book is about apples --and there's a lot about John Chapman too. Mostly about the variability of apples and the impossibility of getting a good eating apple from a seed. Every time I've warned about this in GARDEN (in the old days when there were lots of gardeners other than sysops there) someone would write to say that they planted seeds or their parents had and the resulting tree had the best apples they ever tasted.

Real apples, picked at the proper time and stored at home (not embalmed by today's high-tech controlled environment storage), vary a great according to how long they've been stored. Not all are at their best just after being picked. Some develop fascinating complex flavors with storage, and the texture of some becomes much better one way or another.

We have grown a few dozen varieties in our search for an apple that will be crisp, tart and aromatic in our hot summer and fall climate. Amazingly, Jonathon is one of the best, and stores until right about now --which shouldn't happen with a New England cultivar that ripens (here) in August. It isn't snappy-crisp but it has the aroma and sugar-acid balance. A marvelous offspring is Karmin de Sonneville, should you ever be lucky enough to run across it.

James Joyce's favorite apple was Calville Blanc, a wonderful keeper that becomes melting (not mealy) and complex by about now. Its color is indescribable --rather as if a thin coating of green lacquer had been put over white lacquer. "Pink Pearl" (NOT "Lady") has much the same coloring and is surely an offspring. It is a very early ripener that keeps well and if it's cool is a muted pink throughout --less so if it's hot. It's one of my favorites, always tart and crisp, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it make a comeback in elite markets one day.

One of the best apples I ever ate appeared briefly in our local grocery one year and never again anywhere. It was labelled Sundowner and if it was the real Sundowner is an Australian apple --well adapted to our hot summers. It was crisp and juicy, sweet-tart and aromatic, and pretty as well (most of the best apples here are not conventionally pretty).

Molly/CA
03-29-2005, 04:45 PM
Northern Spy is legendary for flavor and crispness and a wonderful keeper. It is very slow to bear --mine took ten years, which used to be just on the high side for most apples-- and was a real pain in the neck to prune, with narrow crotches. I think it was a tip bearer, too. Probably an alternate-year bearer too, like so many old apples. I'd had one apple from the Spy the year before the last long rainy winter, when it stood in several inches of drain water from the ring all winter and croaked. It was a wonderful apple...

And thanks for reminding me that I need to look for another. I'll get one on dwarfing rootstock this time and see if it won't bear in 5 years!

My area of the Central Valley is becoming a big apple growing area again. To keep up with the post "Delicious" market, apples have to bear quickly. My husband wanted a Pink Lady though he's never finished more than a quarter of one, so I planted one --it bloomed its first year and set a few fruit the second (then was blasted by borer or blight and had to start over --what a pity (har har). I consider it despicably sweet and uninteresting as to texture, myself. A neighbor started with Fujis --then as less insipid apples began to appear grafted 20 acres over to Pink Lady. Wonder what he's growing now...

ElyseC
03-29-2005, 07:46 PM
Well, then perhaps the best thing we can do is hand off the seed to the apple experts family and let them do what they can, assuming they think its possible.

Shane Stanley
03-29-2005, 09:38 PM
One of the best apples I ever ate appeared briefly in our local grocery one year and never again anywhere. It was labelled Sundowner and if it was the real Sundowner is an Australian apple --well adapted to our hot summers. It was crisp and juicy, sweet-tart and aromatic, and pretty as well (most of the best apples here are not conventionally pretty).

It can be a very nice apple, but it's season here is very, very short -- it sort of fills in when others aren't available. By the time you go to get more, they're all gone...

Shane

marlene
03-29-2005, 10:13 PM
Fuji-san.

FvH

Mike
03-30-2005, 11:27 PM
Drifting into relevance?!? Omigod.

Food. Somebody mention food. Fast!

What's your favorite breed of apple?

Generally it's the one I'm about to eat.

Molly/CA
04-01-2005, 04:20 PM
Maybe the short season 's why Sundowners don't seem to have caught on here. Our apple marketing seems to be based on picking too early and holding too long while hoping for a better price!

Mervyn Long
04-02-2005, 07:28 AM
Generally it's the one I'm about to eat.
It's rather strange that with several UK members there has been no mention of the Cox's Orange Pippin which I remember as the dernier cri from the days of my childhood.

Mervyn

BigJohnD
04-03-2005, 11:55 PM
It's rather strange that with several UK members there has been no mention of the Cox's Orange Pippin which I remember as the dernier cri from the days of my childhood.
Mervyn

I had a spell in a Fruit & Veg wholesalers as student. There's so many apples which have disappeared. C.O.P.s can still be found and so can other varieties of Cox's but it's a mission.

My dad had a few trees in his gardens - Russets and huge Derbyshires (over 1Kg per apple!) spring to mind.

And how are you keeping, Mervyn? I must bring you up to date with the Davies' medical adventures.

Mervyn Long
04-04-2005, 09:24 AM
I'm doing well John - drop me a note at mervynlong@mail.com and bring me up to date, would you?

Good hearing from you

Mervyn

groucho
04-04-2005, 02:21 PM
Winesap. Intense apple flavor and a wonderful dark red color.

Molly/CA
04-05-2005, 05:08 PM
Winesap. Intense apple flavor and a wonderful dark red color.

It was my very favorite when I was a kid but I'd forgotten about it because it's one of the ones with about a 3-minute window between starchy and mealy here. My mouth is remembering that spurting juice and winey flavor (dribble, drool). We got some wonderful ones on some trip back east (or maybe Chicago, not the universal idea of east) a few years ago.

Had to giggle. I broke off a front tooth --no apple biting for me for a while! My husband asks about 3 times a day when it will be fixed --my son said "hey, yeah" and is collecting costumes for taking pictures of me in. (I'm with him.) ("Implant" sounds easy if you say it fast -- it's going to take as long as having a baby.)

Molly/CA
04-05-2005, 05:11 PM
If you live in the west, it's rare to find any of the McIntosh/Cortland types in edible condition in stores. My Mac tree's apples are good if you catch them just right (why we have a score or so of trees --still trying to find apples that are like the ones remember from when we were kids in Ohio & Wisconsin--).

groucho
04-05-2005, 05:15 PM
Molly, that's about how I remember them. Very short harvest season or not very popular, they're in and out. We get too many mealy storage apples all year long now--the result of a gloabl apple market.<G>

Molly/CA
04-05-2005, 05:16 PM
Raintree Nurseries here (in Washington State) has had a "Cox's Corner" for years, at least 10. And it's sad. Gradually, the old crosses are disappearing and the new ones all seem to have Golden Delicious in the parentage --a guarantee of a blah apple that won't cook worth a darn in my experience.

If I remember, the famous "Grimes Golden" was thought to have Cox ancestry, one of the few "American" apples that does.

Molly/CA
04-05-2005, 05:23 PM
Not sure "short" harvest season would be an issue where Winesaps hold on the tree well enough to be sure of harvesting at all --modern apples are bred to be picked all on the same day (that's what the flap about the stuff they were spraying on Delicious was all about --it thinned the clusters so they were even bigger and more disgusting, and made them ripen, or maybe the operative phrase is turn red, all at the same time. Winesaps are sure not likely to be very good in the stores around here. Once in a while a store will have some apples from Canada and they can be good.

The good old peaches that ripened over a fair period of time are disappearing, too, even from the specialist "heirloom" nurseries. It's really annoying not to be able to get a tree that has a really good peach anymore.