Field of Science

Apple biodiversity - so much and so few

TPP recently blogged about apples, a favorite topic.  After all he owns the two volume Apples of New York (1905) the definitive reference about heritage apple varieties.  At the time that was written over 1600 varieties of apple were grown in NY state.   TPP grew up not far from Geneva NY, the home of apple biodiversity.  Today "90 percent of the apples sold within the U.S. are from only 11 varieties, including McIntosh, Rome, Fuji and Red Delicious."  Go here to read more.  This is quite sad because many people just don't know what they are missing.  Yesterday, TPP cut up a Northern Spy, a long-time favorite, and when you take a bite you understand why you must go out of your way to get these apples.  The complexity of flavor in this apple is just superior; it makes a Red Delicious seem like plain white bread with the crusts cut off, a kid's apple.  Hey, TPP loved McIntosh as a kid, but you grow up, or not.  So how does someone as young as Layla Eplett (the author of the Sci Amer piece) come to appreciate heritage apples?  Why she sounds interesting! 
HT to Agricultural Biodiversity blog.

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