When I wrote about blackberries three days ago I heard my mother’s voice in my head, saying ‘blackberry and apple.’ My mother cooked blackberries (the fruit of the bramble, Rubus fruticosus agg.) with apples (the fruit of Malus domestica) at this time of year. They have what my tutor at chef school called ‘a natural affinity’. In fact, apples have a natural affinity with many other foods too and they have a natural affinity with our British growing conditions.

So here we go. Let’s admire the apple. In England and other parts of Britain a thriving industry produces apples and pears. You might want to look at the website I’ve just linked to because it takes you on a tour of apple varieties. So does my favourite fruit nursery which, aptly, is named after the goddess of fruiting trees and orchards.

In Britain our apple season is underway now. The Kentish home of the National Fruit Collection invites us to the Brogdale Apple Festival next week.

It hasn’t been the easiest of summers for any grower or farmer, with harvests down. That’s due to a very wet summer and the knock-on effects of last year’s damp summer. It’s also because, this year, the wet weather caused a shortage of pollinators. But all isn’t lost. The last few weeks have seen good conditions for ripening the apples.

Frustrated by a paucity of apple varieties at the supermarket? You could use an online retailer such as this one. When you have your apples, if they’re dessert varieties you’ll probably eat them just as they are. If they’re cooking varieties you might use some classic and modern recipes.

However you eat apples, they taste lovely 🙂


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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9 Responses to Apples

  1. Carol Hague says:

    We were watching a children’s tv programme called Horrible Histories at the weekend, which claims that apples are another thing we have to thank the Romans for 🙂 Apparently Pliny the Elder described 20 different varieties in his “Natural History”. Pity he didn’t know quite as much about volcanoes…(he was killed observing the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD)

    I had very few apples this year, but then my trees are still very young. And from what I can gather I was still luckier than many of my fellow allotmenteers, many of whom got none at all.

  2. Your memories of apples and blackberries brought back a memory from 50 years ago. I was hunting for deer on a property that had several old abandoned farms. Only the foundations of the homes remained. One of them was very remote. Nearby was what appeared to me to be a young apple tree no more than 8 feet tall. On it was one remaining apple. I picked it and it was the most delicious apple I have ever tasted; both prior to and since that experience. I often wondered how it came to be there were no people had lived for decades.

    • argylesock says:

      Is there any way you could return to that site? Perhaps the descendants of that apple tree are still growing there. Perhaps you could collect some fruit and donate the pips to a nursery. You might be able to name it Waldo’s Seedling, the apple answer to Marjorie’s Seedling

      Thank you for mentioning deer hunting in such a matter of fact way. As you know I’ve started to post here about shooting. With the Scottish deer season about to start, followed soon by the season in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, I intend to write about that. But I do so with some trepidation in case I get flamed. Perhaps you and I can recreate the scene from one of the Narnia books, in which apples are wrapped in bear meat and roasted over an open fire. That meal sounded so juicy and delicious 🙂

      • Wade says:

        Apple trees don’t grow true from seed so it’s possible that that tree w grew from seeds dropped from a hiker’s snack apple. Most of our favorite varieties are the result of a fortunate accident.

        • argylesock says:

          Yes that’s true. I was thinking that a tree nursery could select from seedlings after growing a handful of pips. In fact, in these modern times, perhaps biotech might come in handy. I don’t know much about plant cloning though, esp whether it requires something analagous to the stem cells needed when cloning mammals.

          Btw do you and I know one another from elsewhere or did we just meet on WP?

  3. Wade says:

    Yes you know me as EqFe when I use my I phone WP calls me Wade.

    • argylesock says:

      I thought you seemed familiar!

      • EqFe says:

        On the cloneing front, I don’t know if that do that regularly with apples. Plant nurseries like to but the unique new apple (Start Bros being one firm that’s done it for over a century) and granft new trees keeping the supply limited in the beginning.

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