[Sca-cooks] more on period apple varieties

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sun Nov 2 17:22:45 PST 2008

In looking through this file for into on pears, I saw this on apples  
and thought it might be of interest considering the recent thread on  
apples. This is from this Florilegium file:
Period-Fruit-art  (60K)  1/13/02    "Fruit of Period Times" by Baron
                                        Akim Yaroslavich.

Native to the Caucusus regions of Asia Minor (12), apples (Malus  
pumila , Malus sylvestri, Malus domestica) have been cultivated since  
around 2500 B.C.. Apples were grown in Palestine in 2000 B.C. and in  
Egypt from 1300 B.C. (13). The rest of the Arab Middle East has a  
climate not well suited to apple growing. The name apple derives from  
Anglo-Saxon aepl or aeppel (14). The process of grafting of apple  
buds has been known since classical times, described by Cato the  
Elder in De Agricultura in the 2nd century B.C. (15). Pliny listed 23  
varities (16) of which perhaps three survive. A surviving Roman  
variety is the Api or Lady apple (Pommé d'Api) (17), a small, hard,  
yellow winter apple with a red cheek. The Italian Decio (18) variety,  
cream and red in appearance, is small, crisp and claims Roman origin.  
Possibly the French variety Court pendu plat (19) may also be a Roman  
legacy. It is small and flattened, green with faint red stripes and  
richly flavoured. Other period varieties surviving include:
Codlins (20), was class of cooking apples which are elongated, pale  
green or yellow with a reddish flush. British.
Old English Pearmain (21), a red and green variety of desert and  
cider use, was recorded by the Normans in 1204 (22).
Golden Pippin (23), hard, long-keeping and acid apples, were popular  
for cider-making and dessert apples in the 16th century. English.
Reinette (24), was a firm, dry-fleshed 16th century apple of dull  
green skin, sometimes with matt brown russeting. French/ Germany
Golden Rennett (25)(Reinette) was a firm dry-fleshed fruit with  
golden yellow skin russetted evenly with red speckling. English.
White Joaneting (26) (Jenneting), an early eating yellow apple  
sometimes with a red flush, was well known to Elizabethans. English.
Borsdoff (27), was a yellow apple with a red-flushed skin. The flesh  
was whitish-yellow, crisp and juicy with a very sweet flavour. It was  
first recorded in Saxony in 1561. German.
Nonpareil (28), a medium sized dessert apple, yellow and red with  
russet speckles, has been grown in Europe since before 1500 A.D.. It  
was introduced into England in the 16th century. French / German
Many dishes using apples date from mediaeval times; 14th century  
cookbooks give recipes for apples including applesauce, fritters,  
rissoles (29) and ciders. Apple butter was popular throughout Europe.  
The hardy crab-apple was a source for making verjus (30) in England  
instead of green grapes, which were ripened more usefully for  

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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