Apple Source

May 2009

f, as the dear old 18th century French philosopher in the kitchen Brillat-Savarin said: “The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star”, what comparison would you make for the invention of a new apple? I mean, some chef bungs together a few ingredients, comes up with a slight twist on an old favourite, and Bob’s your soufflé. But a new apple ... that takes time and ingenuity and often ends in heartbreak.

I thought of this when a bag of Jazz apples arrived on my doorstep last week. A cross between the New Zealand Braeburn and the short-seasoned but delicious Royal Gala, Jazz is super crisp and juicy — a wonderful addition to the apple corps.

And then I remembered Max Davidson of Hillside Orchard (1209 Escort Way, Borenore, Ph 6365 2247 or 0418 498 708, Daily 9am–6pm). I’ve been hounding Max for some time on news of his apple discovery, a “sport” (a new type of apple) that just turned up, as they do, on one of his trees, which he then cultivated and planted in Victoria to await a crop big enough to go for American patent rights. That process took four years. When I rang him recently, he told me the trees had burnt down in the recent bushfires. Another four to wait. He was, as you’d understand, somewhat upset, but in good spirits. “A mate asked me do I gamble. I said no, I’m an apple orchardist.”

Now if you’re ever up Borenore way (it’s just outside Orange) during apple season (that’s autumn and winter), drop in and ask Max which of the apples he’s selling, as Pink Ladys are his own creation (he can’t use the name until it’s patented). All his apples are good, but I can’t wait to taste Apple Max.

I reckon it’d do more for human happiness than a new galaxy.

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