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Malus 'Melrose'

Malus 'Melrose'

UBC Botanical Garden's annual Apple Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday. “Takes place” sounds so inadequate to me, considering the event requires three hundred volunteers and thousands of hours of work to organize and operate. Not only does it provide opportunities to taste (and hoard) some hard-to-find apples, but events and demonstrations for adults and children occur throughout each day. If you're local, I hope to see you there (I'll be helping people select apples for purchase).

'Melrose' is a close sibling to 'Jonagold', featured on BPotD last year; instead of a 'Golden Delicious' × 'Jonathan' hybrid, 'Melrose' is a hybrid between 'Jonathan' and 'Delicious'. It was developed in 1940 at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station by Freeman Howlett. Howlett had the nickname “Screaming Freeman” (source – PDF), but I haven't been able to uncover any stories or anecdotes behind the nickname. In 1970, the Ohio State Horticultural Society named 'Melrose' the state apple.

As noted by the Ohio State University Extension service, 'Melrose' is a good general use apple: stores well, is crisp-textured, tastes sweet with a hint of tartness, and is used for pies, applesauce and baking. Its appearance may not win it awards, but I'm certain many would agree that much has been lost in the quest for visual (i.e., market) appeal in the breeding of fruits and vegetables.

8 Comments

I always look forward to taking home some varieties of apples that I hadn't known before and trying them in different ways - for eating, for salads, for apple desserts, etc. It might be very interesting to have some feedback from people who have bought some of the more unusual varieties of apples at the UBC Apple Festival this weekend.

How would you describe the taste of this apple? How did you use your apples?
Why did you buy this particular variety?
Do you have a special recipe that you use for this variety?

'Melrose' has been one of my favourites at the Apple Festival. I always try to buy a bag of those. I did not know the origin before. I can definately taste flavours characteristic of 'Jonathan' and 'Delicious', but I find the combination superior to either variety. I wish this variety was more readily available. It is certainly market worthy.

Great with almond butter.

This photo makes my mouth water!

...from a beautiful tree to a beautiful fruit..from the fragrant pink and white blossoms of spring...to the sweet warm cinnamon smell of a pie in the oven...life can be quite wonderful...

You've got a pie in the oven? Do we all get a slice?

This has been my dad's favorite pie apple for 25 years!

I would like to sample a variety of apples to help in my decision on what apple tree to plant. Do you know of anyone doing this? Thanks.

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