Saturday, 12 September 2009

Apples: core strengths

Apples are, arguably, the most English of seasonal fruits. They have been ripening on trees for weeks now but September signals the true start of the apple season.

More than 2,000 varieties have been grown here over the years, many with names that pinpoint their origin such as Keswick Codlin, Kentish Fillbasket and Beauty of Bath. Others bear hints for the palate in their names such as the Pitmaster’s Pineapple, D’Arcy Spice and Blenheim Orange.

Sadly there has been a drastic decline in both the diversity of varieties grown and the number of orchards in the country in recent years. Kent, for instance, has lost 85 per cent of its orchards in the past 50 years.

Farm shops and farmers’ markets offer an excellent choice of locally-grown apples and eyes peeled for English apples in British supermarkets. If you have space in your garden, the Apple Source Book (Hodder & Stoughton, 2007) tells you everything you need to know to plant an apple tree.


Lynne said...

When I was growing up my grandparent's had an apple orchard next to their house, so it's sad to hear they have been dying off. I saw an interesting statistic recently which compared the compared of people in Ireland working in the apple industry (I think 300) to number of people working for Apple in Ireland (I can't remember the number but it is a huge difference!

Hillary said...

Great post. We have a huge collection of 120 apple recipes for fall cooking you might want to check out! :)

Alex said...

I've been poking round the markets for British apples for about a month now - so glad they're here at last!

S McLaren said...

Hi just found your blog anf love it. i have just started to blog within the last few weeks writting about my fav recipres and kitchen gadgets.

it was blogs like this that started me thinking of blogging myself.