Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Apple Jingoism

A UK writer mourns that the ignorant UK public prefers other apples to the Cox's Orange Pippin.

But now, 184 years later, the empress of all apples is under threat of being ousted from her throne by vulgar - and literally more tasteless - rivals such as Gala, Jazz and Braeburn. Year-round sales of Gala have - I can hardly bring myself to write this - already overtaken the Cox, and UK production is following the same sorry trend.

Apple-eaters are being seduced by the shiny red skins of foreign rivals. Not long ago I was appalled by the sight of those even more vulgar arrivistes, Pink Ladies, being sold in our local supermarket in a free fluorescent Barbie-pink plastic holdall.

Apparently the reason that the Cox's Orange Pippin is dropping in popularity has to do with the fact that it's a seasonal apple, and in addition, might be a little mealy:

Another criticism levelled at the Cox is that it lacks a certain crunchiness. Well, forgive me, but raw cabbage has crunch aplenty but you don't see us wolfing that down.

Myself, I hate mealy apples, no matter how good they taste. I did an apple survey here at our local markets last year and discovered that the Pink Lady had the best combination of flavor and crunchiness, as well as an appealing skin color (they are also known as Cripps' Pink). Japanese Fuji apples are good, as well. Jonagold have a good reputation but I've found that they bruise and spoil easily. Don't even bother with Gold or Red Delicious; the growers long ago made the decision to breed them for appearance rather than flavor.


Lynn said...

I like Gala apples. I used to eat Red Delicious until I discovered Gala. I also like Granny Smith.

I'm sort of skeptical about all the heirloom hoopla. I kind of like the idea of saving older species but I have a hard time believing they are as superior as their biggest fans claim.

Bob said...

@Lynn: probably the people who most wish to save the old cultivars are the people that raised them or ate them as children, making them nostalgia apples. From my reading the older cultivars tend to suffer from short seasons, mealiness, and susceptibility to insects/diseases. The taste good, though, when any of them survive...