[nafex] Y. Transparent & Gravenstein

Betty Mayfield bmayfield at columbia-center.org
Fri May 4 18:20:43 EDT 2001

To the list:

I am replying to several comments at once on the recent thread of Yellow
Transparent and sauce apples.

Flavor, of course, is a matter of individual preference, but it should be
noted that as far as texture is concerned, Yellow Transparent is so soft
that it almost always makes a puree type applesauce. Gravenstein, on the
other hand, can be made into chunky-type sauce or pies.

I have heard that the two varieties were often planted as a pair in the
early days in the Pacific Northwest, and that is true in my own case (date
estimated at 1910-1914). My own preference is for the Gravenstein as a
pleasant blend of sweet and acid and very aromatic, both raw and cooked.

But this is far from the Gravensteins sold in stores, which are--as
Victoria says--sour green apples in July. I pick mine in late September
when they are yellow with red streaks and have reached full flavor.

This also matches Hedrick's description of Gravenstein in Systemic
Pomology, "greenish yellow or orange yellow overlaid with broken stripes of
light or dark red. . .juicy, sprightly subacid, aromatic. . .late September
to November." And Edward Bunyard in The Anatomy of Dessert says, "Of
Gravenstein it is hard to speak in mere prose, so distinct in flavour is
it. . .so full of juice and scented with the very attar of apple."

Betty Mayfield
northwest Oregon
>From Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA:
   Indeed we are happy with Yellow Transparent as a sauce and pie
apple.   It comes very early here --- we can begin picking July 15/16,
and all are down by July 25.  We pick when they have achieved full size,
but just before they start to turn yellow for optimum quality.  With
thinning, they size up nicely.  They produce a delicious sauce, with a
fine bouquet, and cook down quickly after peeling without any mashing.
There's that old thing about where you grow a variety.  Here in the NW, Lodi
is essentially a larger, slightly later Yellow Transparent.  Yellow
Transparent here is mainly for first of the season sauce, so Lodi is a fifth
wheel at that time.  And while YT is nice, at the time it comes in, we have
so much other fruit, applesauce seems redundant.  The real sauce apple here
is Gravenstein.
-Lon Rombough
From: Victoria l. Caron, zone 3 NH:
I personally like Transparent when I can find it before it starts to go
too soft. My tree is still too young. I can remember where I lived as a
child, they used to sell them in late July as 'Green Apples' along with
Gravenstein. These are perfect for the brave hearted who just love those
sour green apples.


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