Lady apples

Standard
Lady applesPhoto: benrequena via garnishbar.com

Lady apples
Photo: benrequena via garnishbar.com

I bought a bag of Lady apples at a local market in New York yesterday, small, bright red and green apples that looked like someone had tried to play pattycake with them. A bit flattened. Sweet, aromatic, the skin more flavorful than the flesh. I was walking back to my hotel with one in my hand and thinking it could fill a room with its heady scent.

 

So I looked up the variety, and it turns out it is an old French variety (at least according to the highly informative Orange Pippin resource site), known also a as a Christmas apple due to its late harvest time, and used more for decoration than dining. Not to be confused with the much more recent and popular Pink Lady variety. But it’s known in France as pomme d’api, and is a part of a French nursery rhyme song my daughter learned in school.

Pomme de reinette et pomme d’api
Tapis, tapis rouge
Pomme de reinette et pomme d’api
Tapis, tapis gris.

Which translates to:

Pippin apple and lady apple,
Carpet, red carpet,
Pippin apple and lady apple,
Carpet, grey carpet.

And the song made me think of harvest time in our corner of France, with the carpets of apples around the base of the trees. Red for the red varieties, or grey-green for the pippin variety we have in our own garden.

As it turns out, the Lady apple is thus known in English because ladies once carried them to mask any unpleasant odors. And yes, my otherwise perfectly odor-free hotel room is now filled to the ceiling with the sweet and dainty perfume of the pomme d’api.

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s