uncommon. The welts and warty knobs discourage a direct
mouth attack, but once you peel o= the skin (surprisingly easy),
you’ll discover a sweet, funky, tasty beast, both perfumed and
earthy at the same time. But let’s face it, this apple has not been
cultivated for two hundred years because of its flavor; it is here
to freak out your friends.
orIGIn: summerland, British Columbia, Canada, 1999. (Cross of
Honeygold and sunrise.)
appearanCe: pale green skin fading to white-gold when ripe.
shines like a light in the sun. sometimes russet fills the stem
bowl and drips over one shoulder, as in this photo.
fLaVor: sweet and highly aromatic, with enough tartness to
get by. refreshing but neutral.
texture: wonderfully crisp, juicy, and insubstantial.
season: early september.
use: eat as fresh as possible. Bruises easily.
reGIon: although still largely unknown, silken is gaining
popularity in pick-your-own orchards, particularly in the pacific
northwest, where its early arrival, tender crispness, and China-doll delicacy make it stand out.
tHe word aLmost InVarIaBLy used to describe Silken is
porcelain, and that’s what I would have called it. This is the closest I know to a white apple; the skin gets so pale and translucent
that the snow-white flesh shows through. The fruit has a fragile
albino feel to it, and it certainly bruises if handled roughly. Yet
it is a delight to eat, a crisp flash of juice and lightness, gone before you know it. This, combined with the apple’s brief tenure
in earliest September, gives the Silken an ephemeral quality,
like a mayfly. The perfect Silken moment would be to eat one
straight o= the tree, reflecting for an instant on the end of summer and the first chill of fall. Then the moment’s gone, and the
apple with it, and by the time you experience it again, another
year will have passed you by. A
knoBBed russet sILken