Friday, 4 September 2009

Reinette Rouge Etoilée

The Reinette Rouge is finally 'étoilée' - the little russet stars have eventually developed, and the colour has turned a lovely raspberry red. I hope the flavour is equally raspberry like. This half-standard has been very slow to set fruit, having been planted about ten years ago.

The dark patches would appear to be scab infections, as some have now developed characteristic cracks.

Ended up eating this one slightly earlier than planned, thanks to a squirrel knocking it off and gouging lots of holes (Sept 10). Crisp texture, nice fruity flavour with plenty of acidity and sweetness to balance. Slightly fragrance and only a hint of raspberry, but not bad considering it was less ripe than I would have liked. No trace of bitterness under the skin. Definitely one of the nicest red varieties. Bunyard doesn't appear to be quite so keen.

REINETTE ROUGE ETOILEE. Fl. and Pom., 1884, 169. F., Reinette Rouge Etoilee ; G., Roter Stern Reinette. [Cal ville Rouge Pre*coce (error), Early Red Calville, Reinette Etoile'e.] Dessert, October to December, small, 2j by 2, flattened round, regular. Colour, rich yellow, almost covered with carmine red with broad broken stripes. Flesh, firm, juicy, pale yellow with suffused red below skin, sub-acid, of slight strawberry flavour. Eye, open, in a very even, regular basin. Stem, very short, in a narrow russet cavity. Growth, compact ; fertile. Leaf, rather dark, long oval, held flat, tip down curved, very finely curved serrate. Origin, it has been grown in Eastern Belgium for some 100 years or more. It was introduced to England probably about 1830. It is the Early Red Calville of Hogg. Of fair quality and most attractive in appearance.

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