Well I've just been reading Andrew Lea's excellent source for we 'attempters'... It's the comments on using more flavoursome varieties than GD (and Bramley) on his page 'Tannin in Cider Apples' that got me thinking about one of my later aquisitions - that tree full of Golden Delicious.
Amateur apple scroungers, like myself, have to make do with what we can get. I've not done bad this year, but it's not all been plain sailing -
On a daily basis I was passing laden trees on a local farm. One day I could see some people collecting apples from one of the 4 or 5 trees in a row in the garden. Thinking I might run low on sweets, I pulled over, only to get 'short shrift' from the elderly couple taking a few carrier bags of 'cookers' - 'You'll have to see *****,' insisted the lady. So I tracked down ***** (the farmer) and we chatted about cider and the lot of dairy farmers and farming and T.V's 'Country File' for a good ten minutes... 'If I can help out I will do,' he said at length, but he likes to leave them for the birds as he'd seen many a fieldfare during last winter's snow feeding on the unused fruit. Fair do's - his apples, and bearing in mind his kind offer I set off for the local church yard for a sackful of sweets (probably wilds) and it was the next day that I chanced on the tree full of GD's. And that's it: we have to make do with what we can get, but are GD that bad? When we think of the variety, I think we associate the charactaristics of the French GD - bland and watery, but I find the English grown (certainly the ones I use) more flavoursome, and being juicy and very sweet come in handy for bulking up the sweet portion which is more to add sugar than flavour, surely?
For this next batch I've used 2/3rds GD for the sweet portion with two other (unknown) sweet varieties, though any surplus this year will be GD as I've got loads left yet - ideal for the birds with a high carb content too!
Pleased to see a pair of blue tits and a couple of robins feeding at the makeshift bird table this afternoon - a male blackbird too (not seen the female since this morning...) and I could hear the high pitched squeak of a wren. Word must be getting round about the morsels. It's worth noting that the only time I've seen the tiny goldcrest is during harsh winter spells where their tiny bodies have given up the struggle. Bigger birds stand a better chance of survival and maybe the fieldfares will be back at the farmer's apples this year already...