18 October 2009


This week there will be a little apple celebration here, one way or the other, to mark Apple Day on 21st October. We started off at the Brogdale, home of the National Fruit Collection, at their Apple Festival - and this is my modest attempt to mimic their fabulous apple display with the ones we bought while we were there. Even before we tried the cider, there was a point when we were sampling so many different varieties that I wondered whether we would end up like the inebriated horse, drunk on fermented apples. I kept my senses enough to make a note of the apples we finally bought - from bottom to top: Sunrise, Norfolk Royal, Blue Pearmain, Aromatic Russet, Queen Cox and Ball's Pippin.

The sheer variety of apples is overwhelming - and the shapes, colours and tastes inspiring. While the info on the NFC website is good, what it doesn't give you is the collective beauty of the apples. These Sunrise, for example, do a pretty good impression of the real thing.

For prettiness, my vote went to the Blue Pearmains with their apply dapply skins

It was the Norfolk Royal though that won me over for its taste and lovely russety colours, slightly reminscent of a drunken bloom.

There will be more appleliciousness during the week. Oh yeah, and I have a copy of the Apple Source Book (say it out loud) to give away. I've been dipping into my copy for the last few weeks and it is just too good not to share - a mixture of recipes and information on British Apples, with lots of information on where to buy them, what to use the for and how to celebrate. Just leave a comment between now and Saturday 24th October on any of this week's apple posts - and do share the apple love.


kristina said...

Have just been sorting through apple pictures from our cider making course last Friday! We were given loads of cider samples, and I was getting very nervous about G driving home!

I had no idea there was a national Apple Day. I'd love to enter the draw for the book. Could be very useful, especially with all the apples and juice we brought home!

K x

VP said...

I'd love to visit Brogdale and I'd love to squeeze in a few more apple trees up at the plot, but the allotment police would notice nowadays :(

I did manage to squeeze in 12 of them (mainly heritage varieties) in the days when inspections were a bit lax :)

I still drool over my apple catalogue though and my New Book of Apples by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards. Joan is THE apple expert and the book's lovely. I'm sure you'd love it if you don't know about it already.

Now I'm off to harvest the rest of my apples today - byee!

monix said...

I've just been hearing about my 19 month-old granddaughter's visit to the Apple Day at Wittenham Clumps in Oxfordshire yesterday. Great fun was had by all. It is good to see the growing popular interest in apples after years of dull golden delicious imports. Your post shows some varieties that I haven't heard of, I wonder if some enterprising retailer will recognise an opportunity to bring them into the West Country?

knit nurse said...

The wealth of English apples available at this time of year is one of the reasons why I think autumn is my favourite season! I read a great post recently by Felix about cider making which others might enjoy! http://thedomesticsoundscape.com/wordpress/?p=705

Kate said...

"There is no kind of fruit better known in England than the Apple. . . I hold it almost impossible for the English to live without it, whether it be employed for that excellent drink we call cyder, or for the many dainties which are made of it in the Kitchen. In short, were all other fruits wanting to us, Apples would make us amends." (Richard Bradley, "New Improvements of Planting and Gardening" (1731)