Vintage Apples

November 2nd, 2008

What with post-pepper depression and pre-election tension, my blog muse fell silent. I needed something new and different for inspiration and found it yesterday at Vintage Virginia Apples. Did you ever go to a wine tasting where there were so many different wines that you left confused instead of educated? This was almost like that. Lots of apples available to taste and buy and not a McIntosh or Red Delicious in sight. I read through their catalog online before I got there and had in mind a few particular varieties that I wanted to try.

Black Twig is a longtime favorite of mine, but I wanted to compare it to Arkansas Black. Do I have a new favorite? Maybe. At this moment in time, Arkansas Black has a brighter, sweeter, almost berry-like flavor. The catalog says, however, that Black Twig must be stored for a while in order to develop its flavor. We’ll have to wait for the final comparison, or perhaps there shouldn’t be a comparison – Arkansas Black is good to eat now, and Black Twig will be just as good to eat later (fingers crossed because I bought a lot more Black Twig than Arkansas Black).

I was tempted by the appearance of a pink-blushed one, tasted it, liked it, bought it, and forgot her name. Sorry. Should have taken notes.

Thomas Jefferson is said to have grown Pomme Gris at Monticello, and Jefferson had excellent taste. You wouldn’t guess how good this apple is from the way it looks. It’s not really gris, but more of a dull indistinct yellow-brown. Inside, the yellow flesh is crisp, slightly dry, quite sweet, with a lingering “apple” flavor. This one is definitely on the shortlist for the prospective orchard at Tangled Branches South.

And I can’t leave off without saying a good word for the cider – pricy, $10 a gallon, but very very very good. This is the best cider I’ve tasted in a long time. Right up there with Edwards‘ and that’s saying something.

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