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[nafex] Apple Flavors

For Tom Olenio:
    I don't know how good the Galas are in your local supermarkets are,
or where they are from, but the Galas sold here at Safeway are actually
pretty good.  I think the ones from my orchard are better, but I am
often amazed that commercially produced apples are as good as they are,
given what they have been through on their way to market.
    The reason Gala is on the market at all is because of its unique
flavor, certainly not its size or appearance.  Some newer cultivars are
attempting to improve its size/appearance qualities, but not, I hope, at
a sacrifice of its flavor.  It has the distinct advantage of being
earlier than any other high-quality table apple (I have not tried
Williams' Pride), and, when homegrown, keeps a respectable 6-8 weeks.  I
have the Tenroy cultivar from Stark here, one of the older models, and
in some years it sizes up rather nicely, and can be quite beautiful with
its yellow/pink blush.  It's not a cooking apple, but makes a very nice
tasting fresh juice (which I won't call cider).  My trees, on M7,
started to bloom and bear in year 4, and continue to be among the best
bloomers and pollenizers in my orchard.  It's also a pretty well shaped
tree, strong, and easy to manage, without a lot of twiggy growth.
    My best recollection is that Gala is a chance seedling found in New
Zealand, and that one of its parents is thought to be Golden Delicious,
although I seem to recall possible Cox's Orange or Kidd's Orange in the
parentage.  Whatever its genetic origin, I think we owe the New
Zealanders a debt of gratitude for this delicious apple, which has
expanded the range of consumer choices at the supermarket, and given
hobby growers an excellent and very early table apple.
    Lucky's mention of Ben Davis made me recall my own experience with a
tree that was twiggy, unproductive, and produced nasty, buggy apples.
Being a civil war relic is just not enough.  After 12 years I cut my
losses and took it out.   It fully deserves all the jokes about it.  My
favorite is the one about the blind taste test using a piece of cork
carved as an apple.

Best Regards, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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