Taste-test ap­ples be­fore you buy

Amateur Gardening - - Gardening Week -

I’VE just picked one of my last ‘Kidd’s Or­ange Red’ ap­ples to in­spire me for this fea­ture. Sink­ing my teeth into the crisp, juicy flesh, I’m bowled over by how sweet and sour this va­ri­ety is. But that’s just my take on things – you might hate it! What some­one might de­scribe as ‘su­perb and aro­matic’ an­other might call it ‘bland and in­sipid’.

So if you’re look­ing for an ap­ple to suit your tastes, my ad­vice is to visit one of the many ap­ple-tast­ing events now held at larger gar­dens and fruit nurs­eries (an on­line search will help you lo­cate them). There, you’ll be able to taste dozens of dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties, side by side. Me­an­der­ing be­tween the ta­bles, nib­bling on slice af­ter slice of ap­ple, you’ll love some and be un­der­whelmed by oth­ers.

I like an eater that’s quite acidic, which is why I’ve part­nered my ‘Kidd’s Or­ange Red’ tree with a ‘Pixie’ at home. They’ve both got ‘Cox’s Or­ange Pip­pin’ in their parent­age, so if that’s one of your favourites why not look for oth­ers with that lin­eage, such as ‘Sun­set’ and ‘Fiesta’? Buy the tree from the shop where you tasted the ap­ples be­cause there can be sub­tle dif­fer­ences in taste and qual­ity be­tween nurs­eries. In that way, what you taste will be what you buy.

Try tast­ing dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties be­fore you buy an ap­ple tree

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