foods from plant varieties and animal breeds that have grown in popularity after a long, limited market presence



Roxbury Russet has a nutty flavor. Strawberry Chenango smells like roses. Cornish Gilliflower is reminiscent of clove.


Farmers and chefs treat them like fine wine, but these are apples 'heritage" or "heirloom" varieties that were common on American tables as far back as colonial times but today are rarely tasted. Now, a number of orchards and apple historians are growing these old varieties again and promoting them to restaurants, distributors and grocers. The apples are showing up in ciders and next to pork roasts.


"Heirloom' is a potent food-marketing buzzword, helping once-forgotten plant varieties and even animal breeds command premium prices. Heirloom apples were regionally popular for generations but have ceased to be cultivated commercially. From the 1950s on, mass-production farming favored reliable apples that could stand up to shipping, and stores have been dominated by apples from fewer than a dozen familiar types, including McIntosh, Red Delicious, Fuji and Granny Smith.


See article at: WSJ 27Oct10 – Before the Mac, Vintage Apples

See related Trovelog posts: agritourism