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Re: [nafex] History of several varieties

Here are some of my experiences with the ones of these I know.
>From: tugger@netreach.net
>To: nafex@yahoogroups.com
>Subject: [nafex] History of several varieties
>Date: Mon, Apr 30, 2001, 2:15 PM

>Some friends have asked me to tell them about the history of seven 
>varieties of apples that were grown in the Phila area in the mid 
>1800's and I wonder if anyone can add to the following material:

>     Pound Sweet/ Pumpkin Sweet  
>     A very productive and very sweet Conn. variety with pale green 
>splashed with lighter streaks and numerous white dots. Dates from 
>around 1834. One of the best for cider making as well as for baking 
>and eating. According to Burford this variety was used in Ohio during 
>the Civil War period to make Apple Butter which the maker then sold
>to both sides of the encounter for 10 to 25 cents per gallon.

When I've had Pound Sweet here in Oregon it was sweet, but that's all.  No
acid at all, so that it seemed very insipid to me.

>     Grimes Golden
>     A medium sized apple with a rich, sweet, aromatic spicy flavor. 
>The apple sauce apple according to my grandmother. Not as good for 
>baking as some others. Life magazine in Oct of 1947 said that it was 
>"believed to have sprouted from one of the seeds planted by
>Johnny Appleseed about 1795 in Wellsburg, W. Va." Burford says it
>contains 18.81% sugar and ferments to 9% alcohol. It was - and still 
>is- used for making hard cider and brandy in the Blue Ridge Mountains 
>of VA."

Can't vouch for the flavor here - tastes a lot like Golden Delicious (and is
thought to be the seed parent of that apple), but it keeps very well.  I
knew a couple who kept boxes of Grimes Golden in their garage until April or
so, with no refrigeration.

>     Roxbury Russet
>     Burford says that this is the same as the Shippens Russet which 
>is named for a 1800's Phila. judge.  Dating from 1650 and
>originating in Mass. This apple is a good winter fruit with a 
>sprightly sub-acid flavor not found in grocery store apples. The flesh 
>is a greenish-white, moderately juicy, and has a rather rich sub-acid 
>flavor. Good for hard cider blends and drying and keeping. 

The two main old Russets were Golden Russet and Roxbury Russet.  Golden is
sweeter, to the point of being sticky when eaten, and the color is more
brown, while Roxbury has more acid and has a greenish undertone to the
color.  RR is also the bigger of the two, while GR is more productive.

>      Esopus Spitzenburg
>      Burford describes this late 18th century applet as a smooth 
>skinned fruit "colored a lively brilliant red approaching 
>scarlet...covered with small yellow specks."  Downing said that
>it "is a handsome, truly delicious apple" and is "considered equal
>to the Newtown Pippin" and "unsurpassed by any other variety as a
>dessert fruit"  The "first of apples". The crisp, juicy,
>spicy,aromatic flavor comes from the yellowish flesh.  A good keeper 
>used for dessert and cooking  and a good grower and bearer according 
>to Cole  Jefferson ordered 12 of this variety to plant at Monticello.

Out here it's more of a Chinese red.  Excellent eating and cooking apple,
just like the description.

>      Newtown Pippen
>      Another 1700 variety this apple was used by Benj. Franklin and 
>others to establish our countries' exportation trade when barrels 
>packed with these yellowish-green fruits were shipped to Europe.  
>Fisher's adjectives include medium sized, crisp,aromatic, rich,
>creamy yellow flesh that offers refreshing tartness and high quality 
>for dessert, cooking and cider.  Cole called it "one of the very
>best, and yet most uncertain of all apples" for some years and in some
>areas it does not perform well.  Downing was not as restrained in his 
>comments and said it  "..stands at the head of all apples... .".
>Origin: Newtown Long Island, NY

This seems to depend on what clone you get.  There are yellow types, green
types, chartreuse types, etc.  There is a definite variation in flavor and
character, so try more than one.

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