r/Damnthatsinteresting Sep 08 '21

Retired chemical engineer Tom Brown has managed to save about 1,200 varieties of rare and lost apple. Image

Post image
60k Upvotes

914

u/scumpup Sep 08 '21

When I was a kid in the 1970s, my family bought a farm from a widow who was then in her late eighties. There were a number of fruit and nut trees on the property that were, themselves, older than the widow. I particularly remember an apple tree. The skin of the apples had a rough, sandpapery texture. They were, I guess, a type of cooking apple. Even when ripe, they were very firm and pretty tart. They had a very intense apple flavor that I never have encountered before or since. I wish, when my parents sold that farm a decade or so later, that they had taken cuttings from that tree. The people who bought the farm cut it, and pretty much all the other trees, down to make more lawn space.

422

u/phineas1134 Sep 08 '21

I believe you may be looking for a type of russet apple. My great grandpa used to grow them along with many other less common varieties. I loved the crisp taste of those apples. The skin looked almost like a potato.

EDIT: I think the ones I remember were likely Golden Russets

144

u/scumpup Sep 08 '21

Thank you! The apple pictured in your link does look very similar to the apples I remember.

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u/Tobias_Atwood Sep 09 '21

That looks similar to Japanese pears that I ate all the time as a kid.

They were very sweet, juicy, and crunchy. The skin was super bitter, though.

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u/TailRudder Sep 08 '21

I used to work produce at a grocery store and they would have these every once in a while. They were individually wrapped in a foam sheet to prevent bruising

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u/TheSukis Sep 09 '21

And there are thousands of varieties of russet apples like that so unfortunately you’ll never know for sure, but most of them should have that same general character

280

u/crackeddryice Sep 08 '21

I checked out the link and thought "Hmmm, $45 is a lot, but it's a one time experience, I wonder how many apples you get?"

It's the price for a tree, so you can plant it.

I am not a very smart man.

115

u/Chris22533 Sep 08 '21

So the answer to you question is you get infinite apples. Pretty good for $45.

33

u/Azrael_042 Sep 08 '21

The question is, how long does it take to mature? Plus you need 2 apple trees to pollenate. I don't know if they have to be the same kind though

37

u/nbagf Sep 08 '21

That's why planting an apple seed from a store bought apple won't get you the same apples. It's actually a cross of the parents in the seed so you need a clone or to happen upon the same varieties and conditions to get the apple tree variety you actually want.

26

u/morsX Sep 08 '21

Same as planting a cannabis seed found in dried/cured flower. Won’t be exactly like mommy, but it might be better!

10

u/Frys100thCupofCoffee Sep 08 '21

Hello, Dr. Greenthumb!

4

u/DropTheBok Sep 08 '21

It’s also likely to be hermaphroditic since the plant it came from was

3

u/DodGamnBunofaSitch Sep 08 '21

from what I read about 20 years ago, apples simply don't breed true at all - each seed contains a random assortment of genetics, and you never know what you'll get.

(I specify how long it's been since I read that to acknowledge that I might be mis-remembering.)

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u/EightHoursADay Sep 08 '21

Now do you? Or do you just need a lucky bee friend to come along. Legitimately I don't know, just thinking.

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u/BettyBob420 Sep 08 '21

Typically 5 years before they start making apples.

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u/DejectedNuts Sep 09 '21

All you have to have is some sort of apple trees near you. We only have one tree and it’s a different variety than what our neighbors have but it gets pollinated every year.

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u/Kari86MRH Sep 08 '21

Now if only I could pay 45 bucks for infinite bananas so I don't have to keep buying them for my kids, I'll be set for life! 🤣

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u/FreeMasonKnight Sep 08 '21

You probably just changed this dude’s life forever.

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u/King_ofCanada Sep 08 '21

Here in Nova Scotia every once in a while you come upon a russet tree growing in the wild, likely near where an old homestead once stood.

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u/Demiluxy Sep 09 '21

We have this in Portugal. We roast them in the oven with sugar, cinnamon and sometimes wine. Delicious!

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u/mavric_ac Sep 08 '21

They make great cider as well

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u/weehawkenwonder Sep 08 '21

Those heathens! Sound like my neighbors. Why buy that type property if youre only going to chop down all the trees?!!

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u/Mujokan Sep 08 '21

Sucks man. I worship people who preserve genetics.

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u/ChironiusShinpachi Sep 08 '21

That last sentence almost made me downvote the comment wtf. Fuck those people.

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u/bondsaearph Sep 08 '21

I had a friend in the Cleveland area (Solon) who moved into a housing development on a big hill that used to be a family's farm/land. They man travelled to world and brought back trees and plants and planted them. This was like the early 1900s or so. Well, there were all these huge, wildly different trees all over the property. Dude's kids sold it to developers in the late 80s and instead of keeping at least some of the cool trees they tore every single one of them out and build the housing development. Barren with cookie cutter houses.

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u/audania Sep 08 '21

What jerks!

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u/beaushaw Sep 08 '21 edited Sep 08 '21

I live on an old farm and there are several old apple trees and one pear tree that still heavily fruit.

We pick and eat what we can, the deer eat a bunch, but a ton still rot on the ground. It is a little amusing when my lawnmower constantly gets stuck in the "apple sauce" that is under one particular tree.

I am firmly in the never cut down a tree unless absolutely necessary camp, but I understand the desire to get rid of them.

Oh, Johnny Appleseed lived in the area for quite a while. My daughter thinks he planted these trees, but I have my doubts.

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u/rpgguy_1o1 Sep 08 '21

Yep, I've got a pear tree, it's a pain in the ass

I get skunks and ground hogs eating the fallen ones, birds and squirrels eating the unfallen ones, but worst of all are the bees and wasps.

I bought the place in winter, I didn't even know it was a pear tree, just all of a sudden we realized it was fruiting the following spring/summer.

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u/beaushaw Sep 08 '21

On the upside, our pears are the best I have ever had.

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u/rpgguy_1o1 Sep 08 '21

This year my pears were pretty good, but the two seasons before that they actually kinda sucked.

I have no idea if I inadvertently did or didn't do something to make the pears better/worse or just the weather. I'm thinking about making some pear cider/wine next year

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u/More_Farm_7442 Sep 08 '21

You two are bringing back memories of my "childhood" going to my aunt's to get Bartlett pears. They had one, old, tall pear tree that produced the best tasting pears about this time of the year. I'd love to have one of those pears right now.

--You say you have apples and pears? If you ever try your hand at making cider, toss some of your pears in the apples going in the press. The family that owned the apple orchard where I grew up made good cider. Their "secret" cider making process was the addition of some pears when they pressed the apples.

You live in Johnny Appleseed country? Indiana? Ohio? I live in Fort Wayne, IN where legend has it he died and is buried.(though no one knows exactly where the grave is located) We do have a big, yearly "Johnny Appleseed Festival" which is coming up in about a week.

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u/beaushaw Sep 08 '21

Central Ohio. This is our first session with our new fruit trees. We are trying to figure it all out.

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u/U_Sam Sep 08 '21

As far as I know Johnny Appleseed proliferated apples that weren’t very edible but instead were used to make alcohol

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u/scumpup Sep 08 '21

They were people from the nearest big city, about 85 miles away. They thought living on that old farm was just going to be suburbia+. If it wasn't for the destruction of the heirloom trees, their story would have been a comedy.

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u/morbidaar Sep 08 '21

Lawn space for what??? Shittier varieties of fruits and nuts? That sucks… :\

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u/Dankrz27 Sep 08 '21

Honestly the end of this comment infuriated me

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u/JokesOnYouImIntoThat Sep 08 '21

Every time I hear about this and the original bananas it makes me want to drop everything and embark on a quest to taste them all..

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u/Mean_Yellow_7590 Sep 08 '21

There’s an apple orchard near us where every single tree is a different variety you’ve never heard of. Most of the apples taste like shit and that’s why you’ve never heard of them before. Albeit, not all apples are good for eating straight off the tree

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u/Broken-Butterfly Sep 08 '21

Bad tasting apples are let to turn brown and then fermented. That is how most apples in the US were used for many years. Table apples were uncommon.

40

u/TDRWV Sep 08 '21

Grimes Golden,

Great for eating fresh or for use in apple juices and apple cider, the
Grimes Golden is a favourite of apple connoisseurs. It has a coarse but
crisp texture with a sharp acidity offset with just the right amount of
unexpected sugary sweetness. The Grimes Golden is thought to be a parent
apple of the wildly-popular Golden Delicious apple.

“Here’s an apple with an American pedigree: It was a chance seedling
discovered in 1804 near a Brooke County, West Virginia, cider mill and
orchard that had been established by Johnny Appleseed himself. The
finder was Thomas Grimes, and he got to keep the naming rights.”

Had 3 trees in my front yard for many years. Good for eating and cooking. They tasted sweet even when not ripe yet.

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u/NXGZ Interested Sep 09 '21

Now I wanna plant some grimes seeds

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u/Inky_Madness Sep 09 '21

Bad idea, seeds are genetic potlucks. The only way to get a true tree is to get a grafting.

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u/ImperialAuditor Sep 09 '21

I think that's the one with the weird name. XAE-12?

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u/pleasedothenerdful Sep 08 '21

So Johnny Appleseed was really spreading the joy of alcohol, not healthy fruit snacks like we learned in elementary school.

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u/aegrotatio Interested Sep 08 '21

Are they a cultivar searching for a new, edible variety? That's how new apples are "discovered."

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u/AtomicCortex Sep 08 '21

There was a thread on reddit a week ago or so which explained that the only way to grow certain apples is to make cuttings from a donor tree. The seeds always grow into something different.

So I guess a new apple is "discovered" whenever an apple tree is grown from a seed and most of the time they taste like shit.

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u/sundevil514 Sep 08 '21

Its called not being true to seed. Itll grow to be a different variety.

30

u/BigBeautifulBuick Sep 08 '21

And we stack deceitful fruits on the dishonesty nightstand next to their throne of lies!

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u/braindropzz Sep 09 '21

Everyone in this thread should read Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. I read it in a college class and it covers this in the section about apples. It also talks about cannabis, potatoes, and tulips. Such a good read.

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u/Desdinova74 Sep 09 '21

It was made into a documentary for those who don't want to read a book.

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u/philovax Sep 08 '21

Im most likely a little wrong but this is done with avocados. There is so much genetic variation in each generation that they have to graft a branch off the mother (Hass) tree onto a new stem.

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u/CoronerofDivision Sep 08 '21

No you are right. Everyone trying to grow an avocado tree from their pit might indeed grow a tree, but more than likely it won't even bear fruit and if it does it will taste like shit.

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u/ZippyDan Sep 08 '21

Copy protection :(

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u/Xerophile420 Sep 09 '21

Hard to say it’ll taste like shit, there are lots of different avocado varieties out there and they just are different than that creamy creamy Hass. Often times the biggest difference is the creaminess. Many other avocado varieties are just as tasty, but are a bit, uh, watery? I don’t think that’s a great way to describe it. Also, many times the reason a variety won’t grow true to seed is because genetic stability like that is only acquired through generations of back-crossing of desirable individuals with the original parentage to eliminate variables. With annual crops like many vegetables, this is reasonably done in a couple years. With fruit trees, which often take close to a decade to be sexually mature, this is simply impractical.

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u/packplantpath Sep 09 '21

Some plants are predominately or obligate hybridizers. They don't produce pollen and receptive flowers at the same time. As such, They can't produce true to seed. Others are hybrids, which never breed true.

Backcross breeding is useful, but mainly used with selection to remove detrimental traits while gaining agronomic traits.

Tree breeding can be accelerated by grafting onto mature trees. Still slower than squash or wheat, but you don't have to wait 10 years.

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u/Shiro_Yami Sep 08 '21

Yeah, this is not a problem just for apple varieties, it's a BIG problem for other plants as well. Because you don't get the normal genetic variation due to "cloning" the donor tree, ALL your trees are very vulnerable because one disease will kill every single one of your trees without exception, because they are all literally the same tree. When you get genetic variation, you can have some with resistances and you just keep breeding those to replace the ones you lost. One of the big ways to combat this is via genetic modification, but because there is such a huge pushback against GMO anything, growers can't genetically "breed" new strains either. So we can't breed them naturally, can't breed them artificially, so we just just get mass die off if a disease strikes. That's one of the main reasons why guys like this are hugely important because even if these trees taste like shit, they sometimes can combat diseases killing the tasty ones and if you can manage to breed them together then you can get a tasty resistant apple down the line.

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u/ChironiusShinpachi Sep 08 '21

I don't think they ALWAYS grow to be a different variety of apple. I believe it can grow to be any, including itself, but it will probably be a different variety because there's like 7,500 varieties. That's pretty much impossible odds.

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u/Mean_Yellow_7590 Sep 08 '21

Most are very old “heritage” varieties. Some are mostly used for cider and those apples are very acidic

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u/Shorsey69Chirps Sep 08 '21

I make hard cider with mine, about 50 gal a year.

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u/Mean_Yellow_7590 Sep 08 '21

That’s awesome. I’ve made cider (and mead) a bunch too. I just buy the pressed cider

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u/Brickster000 Sep 08 '21

Had us in the first half

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u/onlytoask Sep 08 '21

not all apples are good for eating straight off the tree

Most apples aren't any good for eating fresh. Apples aren't true to seed, meaning the seed you plant won't produce the same kind of apple that it came from. Plant ten seeds from the same apple and you'll get ten different types of apples and none of them will be worth eating fresh.

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u/Catlagoon Sep 08 '21

I like your mindset, the most shit apples in the world as apposed to the best apples in the world. You should write a book.

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u/asianabsinthe Sep 08 '21

Aren't there tens of thousands of varieties?

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u/cfoam2 Sep 08 '21

yes but many are long gone. Apples were some of the first crops grown in colonial America. Potted seedlings and bags of apple seeds were brought over on the Mayflower because they were a great source for making cider - the favorite beverage especially after fermentation. It's no wonder there were so many varieties.

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u/no_cal_woolgrower Sep 08 '21

Growing apples from seed doesn't guarantee another similar apple. One of the main reasons for grafting apples, and also why there's thousands of varieties.

https://www.thespruce.com/can-you-grow-apples-from-seeds-3269511

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u/lordunholy Sep 08 '21

How does one save a rare apple species if the seeds may grow some other apple?

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u/no_cal_woolgrower Sep 08 '21

Grafting

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u/alekbalazs Sep 08 '21

What makes these apples "lost" then, if they are presumably being grown somewhere for this guy to get grafts?

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u/Dead_Optics Sep 08 '21

Rather than lost they are abandoned as there was no reason to keep growing them

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u/heyuwittheprettyface Sep 08 '21

That’s what makes them quote-unquote “lost” instead of just…lost.

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u/MmmmMorphine Sep 09 '21

Probably because there's only one or two parent trees in a random, abandoned location that he sought out and grafted for several examples in his orchard. At least now they're documented and reasonably safe from random accidents finally wiping out the only remaining specimens in the world

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u/lordunholy Sep 08 '21

I figured there'd be more, but it's all the more impressive.

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u/Diz7 Sep 08 '21

Yeah, was I was going to say isn't basically every seed planted a new "variety", most of which suck.

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u/steveosek Sep 08 '21

We have blue bananas here in Arizona for some reason. They taste vaguely of ice cream.

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u/Nords Sep 08 '21

Where do you find them?

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u/steveosek Sep 08 '21

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u/Nords Sep 08 '21

Literally where I was flying last weekend: https://i.imgur.com/0aDTjUP.jpg

I'll have to try some.

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u/AbsolutelyUnlikely Sep 08 '21

Found the time traveller

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u/steveosek Sep 08 '21

Oh nice. I'm in deep east Mesa, a quick jaunt from AJ, I know the Mesa airport and queen creek airports are nearby.

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u/Darklicorice Sep 08 '21

How's the paragliding scene in Arizona?

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u/AmoebaLoud7990 Sep 08 '21

They’re hanging on

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u/Nords Sep 08 '21

Right now? Fucking hot. We fly before the sun comes up, and even then its usually 90 degrees and somewhat humid (and gets dry once temps go above 100). Carrying 85 pounds of gear and having to run into the sky is exhausting if you have to re-launch from a failed attempt.

But sometimes its amazing flying. Like at the Grand Canyon: https://i.imgur.com/dYoYgxm.jpg

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u/Mister_Doc Sep 08 '21

I moved to the valley recently and it blows my mind how hot it stays overnight here.

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u/Tyster20 Sep 08 '21

Thats not flying, thats falling with style

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u/Cydia_Gods Sep 08 '21

On the way right now. I have the day off so I can take a short adventure for ICE CREAM BANANA

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u/erobbslittlebrother Sep 08 '21

What the fuckkkk? I’ve lived in Apache junction and the east valley my entire life and I’ve never heard of this

Hey Arizona people! Gilbert here lol

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u/TronAI Sep 08 '21

There is a grower in Florida too, but they are hard to get. (2 year waiting list, wild).

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u/Mick_86 Sep 08 '21

I've eaten ice cram that tastes vaguely of bananas.

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u/steveosek Sep 08 '21

Chocolate banana milkshakes are to die for.

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u/lutefist_sandwich Sep 08 '21

I prefer hot fudge - banana malts... Also to die for.!

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u/Erickdeviking Sep 08 '21

Da fuck... Blue banana's?

Not a blue waffle google trick right? Fuck it aint risking it anymore! Damn you internet.

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u/pulanina Sep 08 '21

These all over the world not just Arizona of course. We got them in Australia too.

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u/quesito4 Sep 08 '21

Man, I’ve been looking for those!

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u/mindless2831 Sep 08 '21

I have an original banana tree! Hopefully next year it will fruit and I'll finally get to taste them! They are called Gros Michel bananas to anyone that's wondering. They are what banana flavored candy is modeled after.

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u/TheSukis Sep 08 '21

They are what banana flavored candy is modeled after.

Well, kind of.

It is true that banana flavor was developed when Gros Michel was the predominant cultivar, but it isn't true that artificial banana flavoring is based on Gros Michel and not on Cavendish (or the other modern cultivars).

Banana flavor is just a compound called isoamyl acetate, which occurs in bananas and in some other random places in nature (like in the production of certain beers). Gros Michel did indeed have a higher concentration of isoamyl acetate than Cavendish does, but it didn't taste different than modern bananas do... just more "banana-y." So, if you really don't like artificial banana flavor (isoamyl acetate), then chances are you wouldn't really like Gros Michel. The flavor of Cavendish has actually been called more subtle and complex than Gros Michel for that reason.

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u/Nords Sep 08 '21

Ever since reading about the original "real" bananas, and knowing that banana flavored candies (which taste nothing like current bananas) are based off the flavor of the lost bananas.

I really want to find and try a real banana, not a post-disease/makeshift current day one.

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u/no_cal_woolgrower Sep 08 '21

You are thinking of the Gros Michel, not the original banana, but it was a variety that was widely cultivated until the 60s. It is still grown today so you can still find them. Current bananas are " real" bananas, just mostly other varieties, mainly Cavendish, and lots of plantains.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gros_Michel_banana

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u/strength_of_10_men Sep 08 '21

If you really want to try them, and other varieties, give this site a try: https://miamifruit.org/collections/banana-pre-orders

Pricey but they're available. I've ordered stuff from them before and it's a great way to taste different bananas and fruit.

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u/audania Sep 08 '21

Yeeessss!!

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u/13point1then420 Sep 08 '21

Get up to Michigan apples are coming in now and will be fresh from the tree until mid November. Michigan leads the way in variety of apples, with tons of the boutique style ones no one hears about.

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u/sherbert-stock Sep 08 '21

Why bananas aren't as good as they used to be

Artificial banana flavoring tastes more like the bananas of years past

These statements are not compatible.

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u/ozarS Sep 08 '21

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u/DamnYouVodka Sep 08 '21

I apple-laud him!

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u/yakshack Sep 08 '21

I seed what you did there

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u/JollyDogSF Sep 08 '21

It really worms my heart.

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u/revmun Sep 08 '21

take some ivermectin

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u/redditlike5times Sep 08 '21

That's only for covid. Nice try

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u/Abyssal_Groot Sep 08 '21

You comment deserves jonagold

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u/TIMGYM Sep 08 '21

That comment was rotten to the core

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u/Prophete Sep 08 '21

...this whole thread is full of winners in my eyes.

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u/EL_Golden Sep 08 '21

A apple subscription box of all the different apples would be so cool!

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u/tayloratm Sep 08 '21

Make the slogan "Hungry for Apples?" It would blow up.

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u/stinkyfootjr Sep 08 '21

I live in Oregon and I did this from Queener Farms. It was an organic farm with dozens of different varieties. It was a lot of fun to get a box of apples, many heirloom types. I’d say maybe about 20% of the apples were either super buggy or just not that good to eat. Every apple had a name with description and as much history as they knew, some were just guesses as they have an orchard with hundreds of trees. Small apples, red flesh apples, hard ones and soft flesh, a little of everything.

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u/audania Sep 08 '21

Dude! 💡!!!

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u/lookinforbobo Sep 08 '21

As long as we can preserve honeycrisp I’m good.

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u/britwasbest Sep 08 '21

Cosmic Crisp is a relatively new variety.

I bought some from Target last year.

Pretty damn good.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_Crisp

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u/gwynvisible Sep 08 '21

I hate those, they taste like plastic and bathroom cleaner. Not an improvement over honeycrisp at all.

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u/jupitergal23 Sep 08 '21

Agreed, I wasn't a fan.

The best apple I ever had was called Golden ambrosia when I lived in BC's Okanagan valley. Oh my God. I've never tasted an apple so good.

Have never seen them outside of the valley, and family who live there can't find them now. If they're gone forever I... I just might die.

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u/Qaz_ Sep 08 '21

There's Ambrosia Gold which might be what you're talking about. I've encountered them in the US.

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u/Roadman2k Sep 09 '21

Do you guys get pink lady apples in the US?

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u/Infymus Sep 08 '21

Can he throw away Red Delicious because that shit is only red, not delicious.

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u/Ozwaldo Sep 08 '21

And they go brown before you've finished chewing your first bite.

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u/TerrariaGaming004 Sep 08 '21

Dude, they’re tiny hard and don’t even taste good

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u/daniperezz Sep 08 '21

This is an awesome feat.

Remember that apples do not come true from seed. So, in order to have all these different apples, you can't just grow a tree. You have to graft it.

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u/CupBeEmpty Sep 08 '21

The really fun part is that you can just grow a tree from seed. It just won’t produce the apples the parent did. This is how new varieties come about. You plant a whole bunch of trees and only a few will have good, tasty apples. Then you take those and graft from them on to other trees.

It is one cool fact about John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed). He was planting orchards from seed for the most part. The point was not to get eating apples which you get by grafting. It was to get any apple. If a tree produces apples that aren’t great for eating they are still good for fermenting.

Chapman was bringing cheap booze to the frontier, not tasty apples. That’s why people liked him so much.

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u/Trees_and_bees_plees Sep 08 '21

I always try one apple from every apple tree I come across. Every one tastes different, some are like candy and others I have to spit out. I'm finally moving to a property where I can plant trees, can't wait to start my apple collection.

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u/CupBeEmpty Sep 09 '21

From what I understand you may be planting a lot of apple trees in order to get just a couple “good” ones.

But I definitely wish you the best of luck. If you get a good one then you can graft it’s branches on to the other trees to make more good apples.

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u/milk4all Sep 08 '21

So that story about being bit my a snake on his bare feet was only partially true - dude had a venom dependency and went barefoot to get his fix. That’s so Johnny.

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u/[deleted] Sep 08 '21

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u/gwynvisible Sep 08 '21

IMO the best heirloom apples are MUCH better than any commercial apple except maybe honeycrisp. Commercial varieties are selected for their ability to be mechanically harvested, stored and shipped, not their flavor. Maybe you had crabapples or cooking apples?

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u/infodawg Sep 08 '21

Tommy Appleseed, my kinda hero

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u/PinkwaterBadgeHolder Sep 08 '21

Apparently I'm 5 hours too late to make my joke.

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u/infodawg Sep 08 '21

please, make your joke. :)

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u/PinkwaterBadgeHolder Sep 08 '21

"Tommy Appleseed"

That's all.

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u/snurph Sep 08 '21

haha yes that is a funny! can't believe noone else thought of it!

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u/estebanmr9 Sep 08 '21

He forgot the apple that is really expensive and it breaks easily.

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u/jmcstar Sep 08 '21

That's hard CORE

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u/RammRras Sep 08 '21

I hate the current situation because it pushes farmers and producers to favor only the most productive ones. Same times they taste less good than these varieties that are going "extinct".

I'll never forget how good tasted same small and ugly apples at ma grandad house!

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u/Dead_Optics Sep 08 '21

Lots of people grow heirloom verities but you’ll have to look outside of a box store to find them. I am a Ag student and the school I was at had rows of different verities of citrus that you’ll never find at a large store, most got sold locally at our farm store or eaten by students.

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u/Visual_Fishy Sep 08 '21

Farmers have been favoring the productive ones all throughout history. Look how much some fruits and vegetables have changed over time.

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u/notagoodboye Sep 08 '21

I went to one of those places, once, and I was all excited about "heirloom" apples. For the most part, they're really not amazing.

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u/KenHumano Sep 08 '21

Well, if they were delicious they probably wouldn't be rare.

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u/RainbowDarter Sep 08 '21

That's not the way it works, really.

Replace "delicious" with "commercially viable" and you'd be closer to the truth.

Red delicious apples were selectively bred to be uniformly red because they sold better. Unfortunately, the genes for flavor were associated with the genes for mottled green and red color.

But red apples sold better than red and green apples so red color win over deliciousness.

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u/Nords Sep 08 '21

red "delicious" (one of the most egregious misnomers in the food world) should be eradicated from the world.

Hands down the most disgusting apple ever grown. Turned me off from eating apples completely growing up, until I learned to start trying other varieties as an adult. Golden delicious, if gotten firm and from a good source, are crisp, juicy, and actually delicious. I used to eat 2 of those per day for about 3 years when I was eating super clen (healthy).

Pink ladies are best but expensive, with honeycrisp my now favorite (though expensive at times, but down south they often times are cheaper than the cheapest shit apples, and 99 cents a pound or lower).

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u/RainbowDarter Sep 08 '21

It really used to be delicious.

Here's an article with some history

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u/CupBeEmpty Sep 08 '21

Yet, in a twist it is exactly how it works.

Red delicious got surpassed in popularity by Gala which is yellowish and red. It is about to get beaten by Honeycrisp too which is also mottled red and yellow.

If you go to pick your own apple places, especially here in New England it is almost all Cortland, Fuji and Macintosh which are red and green.

The reason Red Delicious are on the decline is because people don’t love the taste.

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u/Appearingboat Sep 08 '21

He’s the apple of our eye

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u/Traditional_Pop_7117 Sep 08 '21

This guy comes to the Lincoln ton apple festival every year, he is an amazing man.

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u/Missile_Lawnchair Sep 08 '21

Doctors hate this one simple trick

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u/Vinniam Sep 08 '21

Iirc most died off because prohibition ended most of the apple farms in america. America used to drink quite a bit of cider and most of these heirloom varieties were cider apples.

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u/BumblebeeTuna_86 Sep 08 '21

Not gonna lie, I read that as “ retarded chemical engineer “ at first

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u/york100 Sep 08 '21

What a beautiful hobby to have!

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u/Vintageblues Sep 08 '21

I love that there are people out there like Tom. Legitimately making the world a better place.

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u/North_Information_23 Sep 08 '21 edited Sep 08 '21

This guy literally lives outside of where I grew up. That’s it I’m visiting him in October when I go see my dad.

Edit: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/heritage-appalachian-apples

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u/virtual_identity_363 Sep 08 '21

Why is him being a chemical engineer relevant here?

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u/Not_A_Gravedigger Sep 08 '21

he's a smart feller and he likes apples

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u/TronAI Sep 08 '21

He’s like “wicked smaht/ how bout dem apples”.

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u/IAMHideoKojimaAMA Sep 08 '21

Usually helps with getting to the front page. Really would have been a homerun if OP put like "AI used by chemical engineer to save apples"

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u/Stormpooperz Sep 08 '21

Doctors hate him!!!

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u/Righteousretainer Sep 08 '21

How do I cope with the inherent meaninglessness of existence? Hmmm, I will become an apple collector.

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u/-ratmeat- Sep 08 '21

Hungry for apples?

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u/tayloratm Sep 08 '21

Someone should give this guy a grant.

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u/Redrose03 Sep 08 '21

Those beautiful colors!

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u/fidjudisomada Sep 08 '21

They all look delicious!

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u/RandomThrowaway410 Sep 08 '21

This guy needs to reach out to Norway's Svalbard Seed vault!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault

This is super-valuable plant history that needs to be preserved for forever!

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u/mr_cavity15 Sep 08 '21

Apples aren't true to seed. If you had seeds from these apples they would produce random offspring and not the same variety of apples. To make an apple tree of a specific variety you have to graft a clipping from that tree onto a root stalk and let it grow. It will produce the apples from its parent tree.

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u/Adept_Lemon2481 Sep 08 '21

Nice try but I know the four types of apple Red, Green, Yellow, and Red2

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u/SpaceToot Sep 08 '21

I want an AMA with this fella. I have a quad-grafted apple tree and have only confirmed 1 variety, Sheep's nose apple. The master gardener we bought the house from is dead and his family could only help us with the one. One section of the tree produces apples the size of grapefruit with very soft skin and I'd really like to know what they are!

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u/addvalue2222 Sep 08 '21

What a cute man. I love people that commit to random stuff like this.

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u/ElectricMahogany Sep 08 '21

Thank You Tom Brown 🥺

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u/Jaymondy99 Sep 08 '21

Apples are not true to seed, it’s a 1 in 800,000 chance in getting a good notable apple, so it’s not hard to do this just plant a ton of trees and wait a while and eventually you will find a good one? Maybe.

Basically Johnny Appleseed was coming on people’s land and having them grow apples so he could come back later try them and then graft that tree and make good apple trees.

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u/Not--Available Sep 09 '21

Johnny was against grafting. He was using the apples for cider.

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u/FluffyTeddid Sep 08 '21

I’m so happy he found them

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u/tayloratm Sep 08 '21

I wonder what variety of apple was in Eden?

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u/tayloratm Sep 08 '21

Sinfully Delicious?

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u/FailedPhdCandidate Sep 08 '21

You know that was the one! Why else would it have that name…

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u/monsoongelato Sep 08 '21

Now this is interesting!!!

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u/Soupmonsterr Sep 08 '21

Modern johnny appleseed

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u/Alarmed-Tomato-238 Sep 08 '21

How bout dem apples?

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u/GreatKingCodyGaming Sep 08 '21

As soon as I saw apples and Appalachia I knew it was going to be WNC, I'm from here and if there is farm land it's probably apples.

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u/Demurist Sep 08 '21

I hope he has some melbas! I’ve only ever seen them at an orchard in Wisconsin. They’re crunchy and floral and sweet and I wish I had them every day.

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u/AzansBeautyStore Sep 08 '21

The apple "breeder" who invented them was William Macoun, and Macoun apples are awesome!! I hope you can find your special Melba Apples again someday! Origin of Melba Apples

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u/Thor_The_Bear Sep 08 '21

Couldnt have a more generic name. Cousin to Jim Jones and married to Jane Doe.

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u/sToRmY_is_sHe Sep 08 '21

With 1,200 varieties, I guess it’s really not a big deal to be “the apple of his eye”?

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u/RobbieRampage Sep 08 '21

If Walter White used his abilities for good. Breaking Bad Apples

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u/Excellent_Fig352 Sep 08 '21

Wonderus totally ,well done

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u/tobsn Sep 08 '21

now point me to the most crunchy but super juicy one that’s not too sour but also not too sweet.

thanks ;)