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White Melrose Apples
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White Melrose apples are large in size, tending toward conical in shape with round shoulders and some ribbing. The skin of the White Melrose is a very pale white-yellow, giving this variety its name; it sometimes has red markings on the skin as well. The tender, juicy flesh has a melting texture and the rich flavor is balanced between sweet and sharp, making it a refreshing apple to eat fresh out of hand. The White Melrose tree is hardy and disease resistant, first producing abundant white flowers in the spring and then cropping heavily with fruit.
White Melrose apples are available in the fall.
White Melrose apples are an heirloom Scottish apple (botanical name Malus domestica). Besides providing a connection to Scottish history, the White Melrose is an apple excellent as both a dessert variety and a cooking variety.
Apples such as the White Melrose are made up mostly of carbs and water. Apples are high in fiber and vitamin C, along with potassium and a variety of antioxidants such as catechin. One medium sized apple has about 95 calories.
Unlike most varieties of apples, the White Melrose is a good dual-purpose choice, good for both cooking and for dessert use. The flavor is especially good for eating fresh out of hand later in the season. For cooking, It also holds its shape when cooked, making it ideal for tarts and crisps. Pair with traditional apple flavorings such as honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg, or with cheese and other fruits for salads. White Melrose apples will store for a month or two in cool, dry conditions.
Scottish apples have historically been more economically important than they are today. By the end of the nineteenth century, local varieties were declining in favor of big commercial varieties from other parts of the world. Growers and apple enthusiasts in Scotland are trying to change that, reintroducing and planting more of the traditional heirloom varieties that still exist in the country today.
The first written record of the White Melrose apple is from 1831. However, it is thought that this variety originated somewhat earlier with monks at Melrose Abbey in Scotland, perhaps even as early as 1600. The White Melrose is grown almost exclusively in the northern parts of England and in the Scotland borderland, and thrives in exposed areas with colder climates.