When it becomes apple picking season, the trees change color and sunny, crisp fall weather arrives. Most of us associate this with being up north, but the apple varieties Arkansas Black and Red Limbertwig originated in the south.
Arkansas Black is a variety from Arkansas that turns deep purple-- almost black--when it is ripe. The darkest tone is on the side of the apple with the most sun exposure. It was discovered in 1850 and is known for its long storage ability. It is a hard apple with a sharp, distinct taste. It reminds me of the candy War Heads after the sour coating dissolves away. It is supposed to mellow in flavor and texture throughout storage. It is defintely a unique variety. (Shown in photo below).
Red Limbertwig is another southern variety and it originated in Tennessee during the mid-1800s. Limebrtwigs are a category of apple from the south that are known for their flavor and the limberness of the tree branches. The flavor seemed familiar to me, but I could not place it. In general, it reminds me of a cooking spice.
You can see more about these apples in my video. Next weekend, I'll be sharing with you Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple variety.
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It has been a rough apple season with the late spring frost and the summer cicadas. After a week of fall rain, the first classic October day arrived and we headed back to Hocking Hills Orchard. Derek Mills had eight historic varieties of apples for us to taste and share with you.
The first two varieties I'll be sharing with you are Grenadine and Honey Sweet. Grenadine is another red fleshed variety like Red Devil. Red fleshed varieties are often described as tasting like tart strawberries. With Red Devil, I noticed berry tones in the flavor, but I felt it tasted more like a raspberry than a strawberry. However, Grenadine had a mild strawberry aftertaste. It also had an acidity that could be felt on the teeth.
Red Devil is definitely the more enjoyable of the two.
I am fascinated by how the past, present and future are intertwined. Not only can we taste the apples of the past, but the apple tasted today could give birth to the next great apple of the future.
The second variety is from the 1800s and is called Honey Sweet (also known as Honey Cider). It was almost lost to history. Re-discovered in the 1970s, Honey Sweet can be used for cider or fresh eating. It is juicy, pleasantly flavored and sweet. Upon first bite it reminded me of Double Bubble gum. I love comparing fruit to candy and grasping the memories a certain taste can recall.
Please stay tuned throughout October and early November as I share all eight apple varieties with you. You can watch the apple video by clicking the apple's name, which will take you to my YouTube video.
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There is no need to travel far to experience nature's diverse bounty of apple varieties. Hocking Hills Orchard grows over 1,000 different apple varieties and it's less than an hour from Columbus. I had the opportunity to visit the orchard and meet it's owner Derek Mills. Watch my interview with him here.
This fall we will be regularly visiting Hocking Hills Orchard to bring you the most interesting varieties. Up first are two apple varieties that ripen in August, a red fleshed variety called Red Devil and a historic variety called Antonvka 1.5 LB.
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