Coun­try Mouse

Un­com­mon beau­ties

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

OF all our fruits, it’s the apple that says the most about us. There are thou­sands of va­ri­eties, all de­pen­dent on cli­mate, taste and lo­cal­ity. Each as in­di­vid­ual as a hu­man. Some have been bred de­lib­er­ately and oth­ers such as the Blen­heim Or­ange dis­cov­ered by chance in Wood­stock. Na­ture and Man have worked to­gether to give us this as­ton­ish­ing choice; some ap­ples ripen early, oth­ers are good keep­ers; some are sweet, oth­ers make splen­did cook­ing ap­ples for tarts and pies, oth­ers lend them­selves to cider mak­ing. It’s been claimed that you could eat a dif­fer­ent apple a day for six years and still not come to the end of our va­ri­eties.

The apple fa­mously in­spired Sir Isaac New­ton in his study of grav­ity and oth­ers have been used in a wide va­ri­ety of games. Was­sail­ing, when vil­lagers visit the or­chard to toast the apple trees in mid­win­ter to en­sure their health, still takes place in parts of Bri­tain.

And then there are the won­der­ful names of the ap­ples: Chivers De­light, Burr Knot, Mil­li­cent Barnes, Cor­nish Gil­liflower, Hock­ing’s Yel­low, The Rat­tler, Hen’s Turds, Lady’s Fin­ger of Lan­caster, Granny Gif­fard and Clop­ton Red to pick a few of my favourites. Our pe­cu­liar lan­guage put to de­light­ful use. MH

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