Have you ever eaten a red apple? Not red on the outside, but red on the inside. I must say that there is this appeal of biting into an apple and finding this pink or reddish colored flesh. Even when you know it’s there, you still never really know how vibrant it will be and it is still likely to surprise you. In fact, one of the earliest red fleshed apples that I’ve read about is called Surprise so the name says it all. I finally had my first red fleshed apple just last year. I’ll never forget the memory of biting into a freshly picked Hidden Rose apple to discover this reddish pink flesh staring back at me. It’s still amazing and when I learned the orchard had a couple other varieties, I had to return earlier this year to pick some. I had my first Pink Pearl apple last weekend. It was definitely redder than the Hidden Rose with a nice tartness. While the tree only had a half dozen apples, the joy of being able to pick them and biting into it to find this myriad of red colors was amazing. The Pink Parfait tree sitting next to it has many more apples and I know where I am heading in October once it’s ripe!
I have tried for two years to get red fleshed wild Kazakhstan apple scion wood from the USDA but a bad case of fire blight has prevented that option. Instead I ordered some scion wood from other sources but unfortunately, the red apple scion (Redfield), didn’t take this year. Luckily, my Hidden Rose grafts are flourishing. I am not the only person enamored with red fleshed apples. Albert Etter, a self taught pomologist from California was obsessed with creating new apples. He had a penchant for the red fleshed varieties and produced many including Pink Pearl, Pink Parfait, Pink Pearmain, and Christmas Pink to name a few.
What is surprising is that red fleshed apples shouldn’t really be that unusual. When I look around the world, I see them everywhere. In the United Kingdom, you have Brown’s, in Germany there is Baya Marisa and Poland has Bellefluer Rekord to name a few. More interesting are the wild Kazakhstan apples I noted above. While they often have names like PI 613969 in the USDA database, there are a number of them listed. Remember, that database is just a sample of apples that are growing wild in the mountains of Kazakhstan, which is the origin of the modern apple.
If you want to check out more red fleshed apples, here are a few excellent websites with more details on red fleshed apple varieties and the history of some of them. Enjoy and don’t forget to tell me about your favorite red fleshed apple.
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