[Sca-cooks] Historical Apples

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Sun Oct 26 15:37:08 PDT 2008

I have an old Miscellany article that discussed period fruit trees. The 
best source used to be Southmeadow Nurseries, but I'm told they have 
gone steeply downhill, if they still exist at all. Miller's has some 
period apples. 

Currently, we have two period apple trees in front of the house, both 
of which bore this year--a lady apple and a Calville Blanc d'Hiver. 

Applesource used to, and I think still does, sell a wide variety of 
apples (fruit not trees)  by mailorder, including some period 
varieties. It's particularly useful if you are thinking of planting a 
tree and want to know what the apples will taste like. 

Quoting Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>:
> I just did a major article on apples. (It's still in press, so I can't
> refer anyone to a link yet.)
> One thing that I noted was that the
> number of commercial varieties is perhaps 10% of the number of varieties
> that might be grown in a state. Perhaps 14 are grown commercially out of 100
> or more found in the state. 
> Martha Stewart did an article in the October issue on heirloom apples
> and included a list of pick your own antiquarian apple orchards--
> http://www.marthastewart.com/article/a-slice-of-history?autonomy_kw=apples&rsc=header_5
> Perhaps the judges wanted a sentence in the documentation that read--
> "I do not live on a farm or have sufficient land to cultivate my own produce
> and meats. Also lacking a 15th (14th, 16th, substitute as needed) market
> I used products from the local organic
> market and superorganic mart."
> Johnnae
> This reminds me that I also have a list of mid 17th century French apple
> varieties
> that I need to shape into an article. .... always another article
> Lilinah 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. snipped
> > 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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