ANCHORAGE – Dimond Greenhouses was the scene of our annual Apple Tasting Event last September 19, 1991—and what a scene it was! Apples everywhere! Jay Dearborn acted as our special guest host and brought several apple varieties from the Valley for our tasting pleasure. Other members brought different varieties from their own crops and we tried to taste them all. What follows are some brief comments on each of the apples we tried, together with the names of those folks who graciously shared their crop bounty with all those present at the meeting (20 people). (Editor’s note: I tried to jot down all the different comments I heard as we went along-apologies to those of you whose opinions differed from the more vocal members present! I marked certain apples with a “?” when I wasn’t sure who provided them.)
Canada Red (?): Somewhat tart. Softer, slightly mushy; not as crisp as Summer Red. Very nice apple.
Chinese Golden Early (Jay Dearborn): Earliest apple in Palmer (August 10). Small apples. Softer, sweeter.
Geneva Early (?): Good Distinctive flavor, purplish blush. Falls off onto ground early. Doesn’t store well.
Hyer 12 (Karl Francke and Dr. Herb James): Sizes vary from tree to tree (can increase size of apples dramatically by thinning fruits). Tart! Great for pies. Keeps one month to six weeks in the refrigerator.
Mystery Apple I (Neal Fried) Real sweet; crisp: nice flavor.
Mystery Apple II (Anthony Route): Will improve your pucker.
Mystery Mantet (Jay Dearborn): Great!
Noran (Bob Boyer): Acidic, mushy.
Norda (Jay Dearborn and River Bean) Impressive apple, nice and sweet Different taste. Stays crisp.
Norland (Kent Carlson and Dave Crusey): Great texture and flavor! Doesn’t store, but makes good applesauce.
Norson (?): Heavy bearer with drooping branches. Acid taste, but nice flavor.
Oriole (River Bean): Really sweet! Great!
Parkland (?) Nice sweet apple, no tartness, real mild. Vigorous grower. Ripe around fair time.
Rescue (Jay Dearborn and Erik Simpson) Tart good cooking apple crab.
Roda Mantet (Karl Francke): Not quite ripe yet (two more weeks?) Bright flavor, tangy. Stores well (until December or January).
State Fair (Patrick Wright). Lots of flavor: real sweet and juicy!
Summer Red (Jay Dearborn) Fine flavor. Will ripen after picking.
Vista Bella (?): Grafts easily. Great aroma. Nice flavor. Softer texture, not crisp. Doesn’t store too long.
Wealthy (Karl Francke and Dorothy Emmons): Not ripe yet (a fall apple?).
Westland (Jay Dearborn): Nice big apple: can pick off tree early (mid-August). Doesn’t keep well. Softer and not as bitter as Hyer 12.
Yellow Jay (Jay Dearborn): Small apples with nice flavor. Great off the tree. Juicy. Will watercore, but store until January.
Yellow Transparent (Dave Crusey, Patrick Wright Erik Simpson and Kent Carlson): Cooking apple, very good for pies (especially with raspberries mixed in). Softer in texture. Poor keeper. Kent Carlson’s apple was especially, good.
There were other apple varieties available for tasting (including Hazen. Spartan, and Viking Crab), but we ran out of time. Thanks to those of you who helped with cutting and passing out apple samples-and to those of you who brought refreshments! They were certainly appreciated!
If you have something you want to share regarding the apples we tried (or if you disagree with something printed here and want to share your opinion), please send me a note and I will add your comments/corrections to the list. Special thanks to Jay Dearborn for hosting the meeting and providing all those apples. And thanks again to all of you who shared your apples with all of us! Yummmmm!