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That Unforgettable Tartness

By Tom Poland

web posted April 15, 2016
life down
                                                          southLIFE DOWN SOUTH-- You never forget your first taste of a crab apple. Tart—just plain sour—it shriveled your mouth and made your jaws ache. Blame its high acid content for that. It was different, however, when grandmom used her magic to turn those bitter apples into jams, jellies, pickles, and cider. The translucent jelly let sunlight shoot right through turning it amber gold … “Topaz,” some would say.

Seeing the beauty of a flowering fruit tree used to be common. Before supermarkets arrived, old folks planted fruit trees. Growing up, I recall pear trees, fig trees, peach trees, and one crab apple not that far from Granddad’s outhouse. “Hmmm … Is that why it’s bitter,” thought the little boy’s mind.

The Profusion crabapple orchard you see. Does it not nourish the eyes? Taken on Easter day. The limbs and trunks hold up a bouquet.

One thing of note. Consider the crab apple the parent of all apple varieties. It’s grown wild for thousands of years throughout the Northern, Eastern, and Western
Hemispheres. People developed newer varieties from the lowly crab apple to make today’s apples larger and more edible. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Granny Smith.







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