[Sca-cooks] historic apples cider

Susanne Mayer susanne.mayer5 at chello.at
Tue Nov 4 11:25:32 PST 2008

Sorry my internet is eratic and so I did not get around to answer earlier:

here in Austria cider or something simmilar to it: Most is made from a
special mostly ineddible variety  atleast the not modern variants (I tried 
the as a child) of very small and
very tart  (even isf ripe) apple. Although there are nowadays more than one
variety the term Mostapfel goes at least back to a book from the 18th cent.
The same goes for pears.

Well our garden in Carinthia supplies (every 2nd year) at least 7 or 8 
varieties of apples among them russets or as someone supplied. Leatherapples 
(the name I know for them) , Bellefleur (I hav NO idea how old they are, the 
trees are between 100 and 60 years old only one is just 3 or 4 years old, 
Kronprinz Rudolph (probably from the 19th cent), a small, red,  very tasty 
apple we only call Nikolo apple as the best time to eat it is around the 6th 
of December.

For most of these apples we do not even know the names any more


   3. Re: Historical Apples - substitutions for (Mark S. Harris)
> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 02:45:29 -0500
> From: "Mark S. Harris" <MarkSHarris at austin.rr.com>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Historical Apples - substitutions for
> To: SCA-Cooks maillist SCA-Cooks <SCA-Cooks at Ansteorra.org>
> Message-ID: <2223650D-DD40-414C-8C39-0FF32AF3DD7B at austin.rr.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed
> Femke gave a wonderful comparision of different apples to each other
> and to period varieties.
> <<< Part of the problem is that it's so very regional.  There are
> something over 7500 named apple varieties, worldwide.  Around 2500 in
> the US alone.  They crossbreed VERY easily, and throw up sports
> regularly.  That's why pure stocks are usually created by grafting.
> Differences between the red delicious of today and 30 years ago isn't
> genetic - it's root stock choice, growing conditions, and (like wine)
> terrior.  In my neck of the woods, the grocery store has around 20
> varieties.  30-40 at the farmer's market.  200-300 if I want to go
> for a drive.  I suspect this isn't typical. >>>
> No, I don't think that is typical. Perhaps because you live in or
> near an apple growing area?  Even in the specialty groceries I'm only
> likely to see 20 or so.  But central Ansteorra (central Texas) is not
> really apple country.
> Some of your vocabulary has me a bit confused. What do yo mean by
> "sports" and "terrior"?
> <<< So, what you probably want is less a substitution variety-for-
> variety, than to understand what KIND of apple you're looking for.
> Most European apples from period are considered subacid - sweet, with
> a low level of malic acid.  Pretty different from the New World crab
> apple/old world dessert apple crosses common today. >>>
> Do you mean that the crab apples and the dessert apples today are
> crosses within each type? Or that New World crab apples and sold
> world dessert apples have been crossed to produce most of the common
> apples today?
> <<< Calville Blanc d'Hiver - the premier French dessert apple.  To my
> mind, you won't ever get another variety that isn't an equally
> elusive sport of it that tastes very close.  But a Jonagold or
> Jonalicious would be a decent attempt at a similar firm fleshed, sub-
> acid dessert apple.
> Reinette - Jonathan is a decent doppleganger for this one, if it's a
> particularly sweet Jonathan.
> Winter Pearmain - Ask for a sweet, subacid russet - most of them tend
> to be pretty interchangeable when baked anyway.
> Blue Pearmain - A sweet winesap would do.
> Snow apples are also a good choice.  Though often not a lot bigger
> than Lady apples.>>>
> Thanks for this list. I will add your message to my apples-msg file. :-)
> I don't recognize many of the modern names you mention. I guess I'll
> need to pick up the apples and start reading the little stamps on the
> apples.
> This list may be too detailed for me, right now unless I can find
> those specific varieties.  Which ones of these are eating apples?
> Which are best for cider? Which are better in pies and such? I can
> make some guesses from your descriptions, though.
> I'm assuming that "decent doppleganger" means a good substitution?
> <<< Cider apples are a LOT harder.  Many of them are pretty darned
> unique.  And, since we drink a lot less cider these days, much less
> cultivated.  Classical cider varities cannot be replicated by
> commercial eating varieties. >>>
> Yes. And I suspect most of the apples sold in my stores are likely
> chosen because they are better eaten fresh, or perhaps in pies,
> although that usage may be falling as well.  I've had abysmal luck
> making cider when I tried using fresh apples or even apple juice, but
> what were the good cider apple varieties in period or even today?
> <<< Better yet might be to order a sampler pack of period apples and
> modern varieties from one of the growers like Treemendus and have an
> apple tasting party.  (with cheese, and water crackers, etc.  >>>
> Thank you for the reminder.  That was mentioned last year, and I've
> thought of doing this, but as you mention, the season for various
> varieties isn't that long and I started looking too late in the
> season last year.
> <<< I've done it once with hard cider, as well - but that makes it
> awfully hard to remember what apples you did like).  >>>
> Maybe someone could do this at Pennsic? One of the last times I was
> at Pennsic, maybe it was after Jadwiga's mustard class, I remember
> being part of an impromptu Sekanjabin tasting at a nearby camp. It
> was amazing the variation you could get from one recipe depending
> upon the varieties of vinegar and sugar and mint used.
> <<< Or, if you have a Fresh Market nearby, you can usually get one of
> the clerks to romp through the apple section with a knife for you.
> Try different varieties and see what might match the period ones.
> Once you get used to tasting apples, you'll start being able to pick
> out substitutes from descriptions with a half-way decent degree of
> accuracy. >>>
> I don't have a Fresh Market here, but Central Market does offer
> cooking classes including wine and cheese tasting and similar
> classes. Perhaps they could be convinced to do such a class.
> Thanks,
> Stefan

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