Field of Science

Watermelon apple



TPP's Washington State friends sent him a fun picture of a pink-fleshed apple, a so-called watermelon apple.  The names of horticultural varieties are not quite as bad as plain old common names, but at times they are close because these names are not used with precision. You can see why someone might call this a watermelon apple; it's green on the outside and has pink flesh.  They say the taste reminds them of a Granny Smith, but not quite as tart. Although you might have never seen such a thing, apples with pink to red flesh are well known although not widely marketed or grown. According to TPP's references, watermelon apple is another name for Burford's Redflesh apple, an apple developed a couple of decades ago at the Burford Brothers' Nursery in Virginia. But images and descriptions of this apple do not report a green skin, but it does have a very tart flavor. So it would appear the 'watermelon' appellation (or apple-ation?) was appropriated for another apple variety. Here's a list of pink-red fleshed apple varieties complements of the Hocking Hills Orchard and none of them actually fit the description of the apple shown above, including the listing for watermelon, but this is probably not an exhaustive list. OK, a follow-up yielded the name Mountain Rose apple, which according to one online grower, is a rare variety grown only in the Mount Hood River Valley of Oregon by a small group of dedicated family farms. Guess this justifies the $10 per pound price!

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