Black Country Bugle



I remember the attacks of collywobbl­es brought on as a small boy by eating unripe apples. When the fruit reaches full size and looks appetising, the temptation to eat a few is immense.

Of course you can cook them with plenty of sugar, for pies and puddings, but most eating apples (and all cookers) need to spend a lot more time yet on the tree.

For anyone who can’t wait there are early varieties. The earliest is Beauty of Bath, dating back to 1864, yellow with a reddish blush and a sweet taste livened by a sharp tang. It’s at its best for a few weeks around the start of this month.

George Cave is another classic. It has crisp, mediumsize­d apples with green and red stripes, and mid-august is its best time.

Discovery is a deservedly popular small, sweet and red apple that’s a great favourite, ready to eat from late August to the middle of September, and Worcester Pearmain is a sweet, conical, aromatic fruit, a tad small but ready to eat in September.

Even if you grow a range of apples, including cookers and keepers to store for winter, make sure one of them is an early so you don’t have to wait too long for your first taste of the season.

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