The Independent from London, Greater London, England on October 19, 2007 · 85
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The Independent from London, Greater London, England · 85

London, Greater London, England
Issue Date:
Friday, October 19, 2007
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mmm FRI DAY 19 OCTOBER20CI7 THE INDEPEND ENT the title of a Persian poem. Since then, Apple Day, this completely new "calendar custom" has gone from strength to strength, and is now celebrated annually in thousands of places; it is so widespread that some people believe it to be medieval in origin. Clifford and King merely watch it from a distance, letting local people get on with their own celebrations, although this year they are pubBshinga quite remarkable book to coincide with it: The Apple Source Book a sort of all-in-one apple enthiisiasts'kit, containing e from a raft of celebrity apple recipes and hints on rider-making, to a gazetteer Of where you can find your Ribston pippin and your Blenheim orange. Common Ground's highlighting of the value of the apple has done much for the rebirth of English cider-making - "boutaque cider makers are flourishing in the West Country, given a boost by cider's new fashionabiSty thanks to the Magners advertising campaign -andforpreservationofddoniianis: in a heartening victory for their long campaign, in August this year, traditional orchards finally became a priority habitat under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. But for English apples themselves, and thedr miraculous variety, whathas Apple Day done? Well, it drew a line at once under their decHne; they could no longer all vanish with no one noticing. More than that, it has demonstrated to supermarkets that there is a lively consumer interest in more than the same feWstandard types, and the supermarkets have responded: there is fer more choice than there once was. Thethreai now, is no longer from restriction to two or three foreign and fairly dull varieties; it seems to be from the skiUofbreeders in other countries who are producing marvellous apples of their own. Braeburn is the great example. Bred in New Zealand in 1952, it is crisp, juicK sweet, refreshing, and now the king of the apple market in Britain; we eat 100,000 tons of ityear-ly. Following close behind it is gala, another New Zealand variety, which children enjoy because it is simple and very sweet. Next in the popularity stakes conies Granny Smith, yes, the green thing, followed by golden delicious, yes, the yellow thing, and it is not until we reach the fifth most eaten apple in Britain that we reach a British variety; the Cox's orange pippin. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 Wax Apples produce, their own protective; coating of wax, but this is removed when commercial growers wash the fruit to remove dust and residue from pesticides. To restore the shine,, many producers apply shellac derived from the secretions of lac insects. As many as 300JD0D insects are required to produce a kilogram of lac resin. Xyiophagous The xyiophagous insect is one of the French apple's greatest nemeses. In Britain, growers use pesticides to combat the biggest threats to UK apples, which include the codling moth and the summer fruit tortrix. In a 20Q3 survey by Friends of the Earth, 76 per cent of apples tested contained potentially harmful pesticide residues. It must be remembered that this is larybecausethe other varieties can be imported from all over the world, all the year round - we import more than 70 per cent of our apples-while the Cox has a relatively short growing season, in Britain alone. It does not travel well, the Cox- It lstft really grown abroad It seems thatthegenes ofthe Blenheim orangeand the Ribston pippin had long be come used to the moist but jstea(rytemperateclirnateof southern England and it is only here that their prodigious child can flourish, But how it flourishes! I Ve loved it all my life, and although I fully see the attraction ofthe Braeburn, its fresh appeal is essentially one-dimen sional; it doesn't remotely compare with the honeyed, perfumed subtlety of Richard Cox's foundling I think ofthis, Standing in the car park of The Lawns. I'm delighted to have found the site, tarmac or no tarmac, but lam cast downthat there are no traces of Richard Cox himself. I had read that the remains of his summer house, all " that Was left ofhisgarden, should be visible, but there seems to be nothing what soever. A&miry emerges from the flats whenlaskthemaboutasummerhouse they look at me as if I am crazy. So I get ready to go, as the jetsleaving Heathrow thunder overhead. And then myeye catches something One side ofthe car park, covered in ivy, is not wood-and-concrete fencing like the other two sides; it is brick wall. I approach it, and that the brick is old. I follow it to its corner, and there, smoth ered by ivy totally, isabulge; and I canjust glimpse from the base that the bulge is made of stone. I begin to pull the ivy off, and suddenly, to my amazement, I find wood planking; it is an old wood- en door. And then, with even greater surprise, as Ijscrab-ble more ivy off, I see that the door has an old brass knob. My heart starts to beat as l turn theknobandgenttypush. And it pounds faster stifl when the door begins to open. For an irrational but intense split second I am certain that, like the children kxTJwIJoTheWUandTheWaTxlrobe, I am about to step from the car park under the Heathrow flightpath into a different world. I don't, of course; but Idostepintoapit-darkwarmgpace full of dead ivy stems, and with a sense of wonder I think, here. Here it was, maybe, that that he tasted it,when he fii took it fromthe tree; here in this summerhouse he took a bite, on a warm autumn evening; and here it was that he uttered his exclamation the exclamation of surprise and delight that has surely accompanied every apple discovery, all seven thousand of them, down the centuries: Upon my soul, this is most uncommon toothsome!4 - or words to that effect. Nevermind that the wheeliebin pen maintained by Slough Borough Council is a few feet away. I amback in 1835, filled with the mystery and miracle of apples, filled with their romance. Let's celebrate them this weekend. The Apple Source Book, by Slue Clifford and Angela King (1659), is published by Hodder. To order a copy for the special price Of 1550 (free P&P) call Independent Books Direct on 08700 798 897, or visit www.independentbooksdirecLcauk mm-... ..vKvtf K-r '' ''' ' :-::"v' j; I- ' - L N; IS A i healthy crry , York, New The "Big Apple" nickname was popularised Tn a 1970s campaign by New York's tourism board, but the moniker's origins remain unclear. According to one of many theories, the term first appeared in the 1909 book, The Wayfarer in Afew Vorfc by Edward S Martin, In it he wrote that disgruntled Americans not living In New Nbrkare "inclined to think the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap", Zestar A trademark of the nursery at the University of Minnesota, the red zestar apple, released in 1999, is described by its producers as "a crunchy, Juicy apple with a sweet yet tart taste and hint of brown sugar flavour. 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We deliver to UK addresses Drily, Sutect to availability. If you are not fully satisfied return unused within 7 days for a full refund minus postage Independent New and Media Limited. Registered In England No. 1908967 BY POSH INDEPENDENT TOOTAL HANDKERCHIEFS OFFER (B035) PO BOX 250, ROCHESTER, KENT ME1 9AJ sae (please complete) Ladies' pack of 12 plus 12 extra free" IMal 9.99 Men's pack of 12 plus 12 extra free 9.99 Please add my free packs Ladies' FREE FREE Men's FREE FREE Postage and packing 1.99 hoapandant tartar Oftaw BLOCK CAPITALS PLEASE Title Name , Address . Postcode .Email. Tel Card SF E tr U linifH nnj m y mm id Jdrtrm msti wpitrti or Wtd punrn H ttflL 1 ftu ihJpcL

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