Whilst researching an profile I'm writing on US apple guru Tom Burford, I stumbled across a fascinating little feel-good story for traditional apple and cider lovers. The above apple is a fully ripe and ready to press Harrison, once the most popular cidermaking apple in parts of 18th century America. It was famed for its flavour and ability to produce a viscous, thick juice that made great cider in the early 1700's. By all accounts, and for various reasons, it fell out of favour and declined massively eventually thought to be lost forever, until a tree was found in 1976 by Paul Gidez and another in 1989 by Tom himself.
He descibes the experience of eating the fruit for the first time:
“the most enigmatic apple I’ve ever dealt with. When I first tasted it I had to sit down. I was so unsettled. How could it have happened that this great cider apple got pushed out of production? Anything as good as the Harrison you would think they would say, let’s take care of it.”
If you want to read more, there is an excellent article about it over at Foggy Ridge Cider. I've never tasted it, but hope to one day. Dare I even dream of trying a single variety cider made from it.
Anyway, it got me thinking about rediscovered British cider apples and perry pears, and that I don't really knmow the story of many at all. Do you know of any I should learn about?