[NAFEX] Bugs-don't hug apples
Brungardt, Sam (MPCA)
Sam.Brungardt at state.mn.us
Thu Oct 28 18:38:37 EDT 2010
Scott, where do you live and what do you mean by a "savory" flavor? -- Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn. (USDA Hardiness Zone 4b)
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Scott Smith
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:35 PM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Bugs-don't hug apples
Alan, the Abbondanza and Rambour d'Hiver had the last picking a week or so ago and I am eating them now. The Pigeonnet Rouge ripened about a month ago.
I should probably briefly mention why I am growing all these unusual French varieties. Basically I saw many people growing old English varieties, but the French seemed to greatly prefer their own heirlooms so I thought they were worth a trial. So, I put in a row of about 50 old French varieties. I got nearly all of them from either Botner or ARS. Overall I have enjoyed growing them, primarily for the unusual sorts of apples I have found amongst the 50.
In terms of the taste of these three, Abbondanza is my favorite. It has a unique rose-petal hint to the flavor, and it also has a great sweet/sour balance (for me that means ample quantities of both without seeming like a "sour"). The apple flesh is unusually dense, like Goldrush but not as crisp. I don't think it would be popular with most modern apple eaters however since it is not crunchy and the skin is not thin. It requires a very late picking, the background will whiten when they are ready, and they are bad (tannic) if picked too early so multiple pickings are required. This apple is in fact an Italian heirloom but is well-liked in France today. Rambour d'Hiver on the other hand is a very crunchy apple. It is traditionally known as a cooking apple but it is also perfectly fine for eating; it is lacking in flavor overall however. Pigeonnet Rouge is similar to Abbondanza in having white flesh and striped red skin, but its taste is more on the savory side. I also
like it a lot; it is somewhat similar to Black Gilliflower in flavor (the shape is also similar). The savory type of apple flavor isn't very popular today, something I attribute to fashion rather than anything inherently good or bad in the flavor.
In terms of bugginess, I should add a disclaimer that I have only one tree in one spot of each, and the position could in theory be a factor or some other detail of my climate etc. But they certainly qualify as candidates for a successful low-spray program.
> Scott, when do those funny french sounding apples ripen and how do you like
> them? I love that you explore so many unusual varieties, by-the-way.
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