Monday, 5 October 2009

Apple Affair

Yes, that is the title of the event I attended yesterday. As it suggests I was a celebration of things apple, with sprinklings of stalls and a chance to wander around the garden and orchard of the private West Dean college, which is normally closed to the public. We were incredibly lucky to have a October day that varied from chilly to warm every twenty minutes, but was blissfully dry.
After peering at the table with samples of rare and unusual apples – some of which were quite outstandingly ugly – and no doubt annoying the people behind me by stopping to take photos, we browsed the slightly pricey wares for sale, sampled some English wine (which is more delicious than most people give it credit for) and finally found the apple samples.

Until I went to China I was convinced that I disliked apples, and was quite surprised when I found Chinese apples to be juicy, crisp and flavoursome, as opposed to the pappy, mushy but perfectly spherical and colour balanced apples on sale in British supermarkets. These knobbly, spotty, lopsided apples were a revelation and I took as many slices as I felt was within the bounds of decency.


Oddly though, there weren’t actually any of the small breed apples for sale, which was a bit of a disappointment and perhaps a missed sales opportunity.

The grounds, orchard and walled vegetable and flower gardens were beautiful, and I took so many photos that I’ll be sharing them with you over the week, as I’m far too indecisive to cut them all down to fit in one post! I’ve been thinking of how else I would describe the day apart from the shop worn ‘nice’: serene, relaxing, interesting, heart warming, toothsome…

I know they look I bit skanky, but I promise you, they taste delicious!

18 comments:

  1. How fun! and how different! I love it! And your photos are terrific!

    Have a great week!

    Sylvia

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  2. Looks like a fun day. You saw a lot of different kinds of apples that is for sure.
    I love apples and right now my favorite is one called Honey crisp.

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  3. apples galore... a real serious affair to study them all...great shots...

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  4. Absolutely beautiful photos. We have our share of skanky apples on our trees here, but they make lovely pies and delicious sauce.

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  5. I also love apples and all the pictures are lovely. Our apple trees had few apples this year...wet spring and no bees I guess. It is nice to see into the window of your world. cheers.

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  6. I wonder why I don´t see those skanky ones here in the supermarket...come on, import some here! Lovely post, apples are always good food.

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  7. What fun! I love apples, especially the crips Chinese apples.

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  8. wow! that was a revelation! thank you!

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  9. Wow! I'd love to taste them!

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  10. A perfectly delectanle apple experience. Thank you for taking us along. I too prefer the old varieties with flavour to the high shelf life nondescripts of the supermarkets that have spent the better part of their life vegetating in a cool store.

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  11. A lot of the apples in our stores have wax sprayed on them to make them shiny. I prefer the plain ones. I'd even like to try the skanky ones!

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  12. Hhhmmm, that looks so appetizing ! I love all kind of apples, I eat at least 2 per day, but these chinese once I have never seen !

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  13. Most of these are rare breeds of apple that you won't see in the supermarket - the knobbly ones are meant to look like that. I enjoyed a delicious flavourful apple in my lunch today, the first time since I was at primary school.

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  14. So interesting and lovely. They look wonderful. I would say delicious, but that would be a very bad pun.

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  15. I do love apples but for some reason they don't love me. I could power an automobile after eating one! Oh dear, probably too much information. But thank you for the lovely tour!

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  16. What a delightful place! Did they have any Fuji apples? They are incredibyly sweet and juicy.

    We have many large apple orchards here in the California foothills...One local area is called "Apple Hill" and it attracts lots of visitors for all things apple during the fall season.

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  17. Pat - I don't think so (although I'm not 100%). Most of the varities were ones that grow well in the chalky Sussex soil. I hope you're enjoying appley goodness too.

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  18. Lucky you - I've always wanted to visit West Dean. Another visit on my Sussex wish-list.

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