[Sca-cooks] Historical Apples

Gretchen Beck grm at andrew.cmu.edu
Sun Oct 26 10:31:18 PDT 2008

Gravenstein's perhaps?


I've never seen these in stores in my area (although perhaps I'm just not
looking), but the wikipedia suggests they are popular in Nova Scotia. 

toodles, margaret 

--On Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:17 AM -0700 Lilinah
<lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Apples are so common... and yet... i know that many of the varieties most
> commonly found in the supermarket are fairly recent hybrids. And i have
> trouble finding many of the apples i remember from 40 years ago. I've
> read that modern apples are being bred to be sweeter and sweeter,
> although we can still find some tart apples in the supermarket.
> This curiosity was brought on by a recent cooking competition in which a
> couple judges were complaining that an entrant had not use period apples,
> as if we can find them in the supermarket.
> I cannot grow my own trees in my second floor apartment, but if someone
> has land, here's a great source of historical fruiting plants (not just
> apples)
> http://www.treesofantiquity.com/
> Trees of Antiquity sells all sorts of amazing fruit trees, they even have
> a few SCA-period apples, which is something one can't find in the
> supermarket. Here are trees they carry (no, they do not sell fruit, only
> trees)
> The earliest trees i saw listed are:
> WHITE PEARMAIN - England 1200 A.D. - Oldest known English Apple.
> CALVILLE BLANC - France 1598 -  gourmet culinary apple of France...
> SUMMER RAMBO - France 1535 (Rambour Franc) - Large red fruit, bright
> striped. Breaking, crisp, exceptionally...
> LADY (Christmas Apple, Api) - France 1600 - Traditionally used in
> Christmas decorations and...
> COURT PENDU PLAT - Europe 1613 (probably Roman) - The name is derived
> from Corps Pendu, referring to the shortness...
> API ETOILE (Star Lady) - Switzerland 1600's - Very unusual oblate
> (flattened) shape looking like a rounded...
> ROXBURY RUSSET - Massachusetts prior to 1649 - Excellent old American
> cider apple, a keeper and good for eating...
> RHODE ISLAND GREENING - Rhode Island 1650 - Favorite American cooking
> apple known in earliest colonial...
> CALVILLE ROUGE D'AUTOMNE - France 1670 - Large, with characteristic
> ribbed Calville shape.
> There's more info on line for all of them...
> And, yes, i read the Florilegium file, apples-msg. The link above is to
> growers who have replaced the Sonoma Antique Apple Nursery, which is no
> longer. The URL for SAAN is now a placeholder only and has nothing about
> fruit trees on it.
> So, what varieties are available today (without growing one's own) that
> are period or close to period? Are Pippins as close as we can get? (crab
> apples are an awful lot of work for a feast)

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