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The Apple of My Eye

October 27, 2010 in Eat Local & Organic
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The moment I set eyes on you, I had to buy you, and savour the taste of an English autumn. I am talking about the  most amazing, beautiful, biodynamic apple from Perry Court Farm in Kent. They have a weekly stall at my local farmers’ market in the Oval, every Saturday. It’s the kind of apple Snow White would find hard to resist. It’s perfect in every way. It’s a Jonagold, gloriously oversized, crimson-hued, like a woman’s blush, and it tastes just like the apples my dad used to grow in our garden when I was a child. It’s the perfect combination of tart and sweet, but not too sweet, and bursting with juiciness. It couldn’t be more different from the bland, cloyingly sweet varieties from everywhere but Britain, which are routinely sprayed with pesticides and sold in most supermarkets today. Is that the kind of apple a day you really want to eat?

Support our farmers and buy British, unsprayed apples this autumn and help to reverse the serious decline of ancient British apple varieties. You can find them in your local farmers market, independent, small grocers, or even better go and pick your own.

If you live on the Isle of Wight, or you are planning to visit soon, then go and pick gorgeous English varieties such as Discovery, James Grieve, Spartan, and Blenheim Orange at the wonderful Afton Park Orchard (map here) –  and, at 72 pence a pound, they are cheaper than the apples in our local supermarket, part of a giant chain!

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about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?



4 responses to “The Apple of My Eye”

  1. James says:

    I quite agree, British apples are the bees knees…not to mention the bees nectar. My favourite eating apple varieties are James Grieve, Ashmead’s Kernel and Laxton’s Superb. All amazing flavours. Bramley’s Seedling is the classic cooking apple and is hard to beat, though in my garden I have The Reverend W Wilkes, a large pale apple that cooks to a tasty pale yellow froth. Apple trees are easy to grow. They come grafted onto different rootstocks, which means you can even plant them in small gardens or very large pots.

    • Alexander Crum Ewing says:

      James Grieve is a great apple – I have a tree in my kitchen garden in London – it rewards me every year with a decent, heavy crop, and is also quite good keeper. I often use windfalls a stuffing for roast chicken; and was discussing with the use apples and pears with my butcher this afternoon as a stuffing for slow-roasted Barbary Duck.
      I’m pleased that you like the Apple article – it’s been a popular one, and there will be another later in the year on crab-apple hooch. We’ll be writing more on apples next year.

    • Alison Jane Reid says:

      Hi James, I absolutely love the Ashmead’s Kernel apple you gave me to try. Firstly, you get the distinct, rather earthy taste of the russet skin, then comes the sour, sweet tartness. I’m hooked. Where can I buy some more?

      Alison Jane

  2. I had to pich my Jonagold apples in the snow yesterday, as the birds were starting to eat them. Not enough to bring to the produce market, but maybe in future when the tree has grown bigger. I’m growing quite a few varieties of apples, such as Pitmaston Pineapple, Court Pendu Plat (an ancestor of Cox) and Laxton’s Exquisite. All have wonderful flavours, but only small trees so far.
    It’s fun to graft your own trees, and quite easy, but it does take longer until you have a good crop of fruit. I’ll run another grafting workshop if people are interested.

    Ken

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