Apple a-peel

PUBLISHED: 17:12 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

There are many different varieties

There are many different varieties

CORE blimey! It s National Apple Day on Saturday and as part of nationwide celebrations Hitchin will be holding its own event in the market square. The organisers of Hitchin Apple Day are hoping that the event, to be held between 10am and 2pm, will help p

Vicki Wise

CORE blimey!

It's National Apple Day on Saturday and as part of nationwide celebrations Hitchin will be holding its own event in the market square.

The organisers of Hitchin Apple Day are hoping that the event, to be held between 10am and 2pm, will help promote English fruits and the benefits they can bring as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Michael Clark, warden of Hertfordshire's own Tewin Orchard near Welwyn GC, will peel off from his work for the day and will be on hand to give advice and information.

He will offer interesting varieties of apples and pears to taste and buy and give advice on how to get the most from garden apple trees.

He will also be available to carry out identification so if anyone wants their apple or pear tree identified they can bring along a sample of the fruit, complete with stem and leaves if possible, and Mr Clark will give it his best shot.

Other attractions on the day will include home-made apple and pear cakes and local stalls selling goats cheese from Wobbly Bottom Farm, based at Pirton Road, Hitchin.

There will also be Four Seasons pickles and a River Nene organic vegetable box scheme, plus information on buying local food in season.

To celebrate Apple Day staff at The Comet decided they would put English apples to a taste test and give you their verdicts.

We were donated a selection of apples from the Waitrose store in Stevenage Old Town and purchased some other varieties before putting them to the crunch.

Here are our verdicts along with a description of each particular apple:

l Royal Gala - A hybrid of Kidds Orange Red and Golden Delicious.

Our verdict: "Firm, crispy, sweet but not too tart. Succulent, but not overly juicy."

l Jazz - A modern apple, originally from New Zealand, and a cross between Braeburn and Gala apples.

Our verdict: "Crispy, very juicy and fairly sweet. A yellowish skin and a firm texture."

l Egremont Russet - First popular in the Victorian era, it is believed that the Egremont Russet was first raised by Lord Egremont in the late 1870s in Sussex.

Our verdict: "Firm, tidy, not too juicy. The skin is quite thick and hard. It has a unique looking skin and a creamy coloured flesh."

l Spartan - An all-purpose apple with an unusually small core. It is a cross between a McIntosh and Newtown apples.

Our verdict: "Sweet, nice texture, slightly tart. Would be a good accompaniment to cheese. Medium firm and medium juicy."

l Cox - A real humdinger of an apple and available almost all year-round.

Our verdict: "The king of apples. It's not quite as crisp or juicy as the modern industrial varieties. Modern apples are just too sweet. A Cox has a wonderfully complex flavour."

Overall, the Cox seemed to pip the others to the post.


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