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Yellow Bellflower Apples
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|See Canyon Apple Orchards|
Yellow Bellflower apples like their name suggests, are a delicate shade of lemon yellow, with some red-orange blushing on the side of the fruits that grown toward the sun on the large, vigorously producing tree. They are medium to large, with an oblong, conical shape. The flesh is white or cream-colored and fine-grained. The flavor is aromatic, changing from an early season tartness to a mellow sweetness later in the season, and after sitting in storage.
Yellow Bellflower apples are available in the fall.
Yellow Bellflower apples are an old Malus domestica variety from colonial America, although their exact origin is unknown. They were once known and used for making cider, a practice very common in previous centuries in America. It is sometimes called the Lady Washington or the Lincoln Pippin.
Apples are a healthy addition to the diet, with few calories and little sodium and fat. They do have plenty of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C. They also have smaller amounts of boron, good for the bones, along with antioxidants and phytochemicals, helpful in preventing several chronic diseases.
Yellow Bellflowers are known as good cider apples, because of their high sugar content which ferments to 6% ABV in alcohol. They also make an excellent cooking variety—they are particularly good for baked apples and applesauce. The complex sweetness of Yellow Bellflowers goes well with traditional baking spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Its quality as a dessert apple increases as the season goes on, since the Yellow Bellflower flavor is sweeter and more developed. They can be stored for up to two months in a cool, dry place, though they bruise easily so care should be taken when moving them around.
Yellow Bellflower apples are an excellent example of an old American variety whose origins are lost to the mysteries of time. Even its name is a mystery, although it may be simply that this apple resembles a bell hanging on its tree.
No one knows the true story of the Yellow Bellflower, since it was first grown so long ago. There is a reference to this apple from 1817, which describes an old tree in Burlington, New Jersey, suggesting that the variety had already been established in the area for quite some time. It is most commonly thought that the Yellow Bellflower originated near Crosswicks, New Jersey, sometime in the 1700s. The apple was grown more extensively in New England after 1850, and was brought from the east coast to the west in the 1800s. The Yellow Bellflower has been rumored to be a parent of Red Delicious.