And today is All Saints Day! Also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, or the Feast of All Saints is a Christian solemnity celebrated in honor of all the saints, known and unknown.
So here are a few apple varieties named after Saints growing at our Hocking Hills Orchard.
Saint Cecilia - Wales, 1918. Cox’s Orange Pippin seedling. High quality dessert apple. Yellow-green skin coated in deep shiny red. Flesh is similar to Cox with intense, sweet, crisp, very juicy flavor. The flavor is said to be at its most intense on St Cecilia’s Day (Nov 22nd). Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians and Church music because, as she was dying, she sang to God. Died in the 200’s AD, was suffocated in the baths of Rome under intense heat, did not die, then an axe man attempted to behead her, twice, died two days later still singing.
Saint Edmund’s Russet - England, 1875. AKA Saint Edmund’s Pippin. Golden orange russet apples with juicy, sweet, pale cream flesh and a rich aromatic flavor. A good eating apple it’s rich juice is also popular for making cider. Saint Edmund was the original patron saint of England. Died in 869 AD after being on the losing end of a battle with Vikings. He refused the Danes’ demand that he renounce Christ: the Danes beat him, shot him with arrows and then beheaded him. According to one legend, his head was then thrown into the forest, but was found safe by searchers after following the cries of an ethereal wolf that was calling out in Latin, “Hic, Hic, Hic” – “Here, Here, Here”.
Saint Lawrence - New York, pre 1835. Seedling of Fameuse. Tender, fine-grained white flesh stained with red. Very good for eating, has a mild, pleasant flavor. Saint Lawrence is the patron saint of the poor and cooks. Died in 258 AD, recorded that he was roasted to death on a gridiron, remarking to his torturers at one point, “I am cooked on that side; turn me over, and eat.
Saint Martin - England, late 1800’s. Received the Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1896. Fruits have sweet, soft flesh. Died in 397 AD. No gruesome story for his death that I could find and St Martin/St Marteen in the Caribbean is great island to visit! Shared by France and The Netherlands.
Derek A Mills
Hocking Hills Orchard at the Four Seasons Cabins located in the beautiful Hocking Hills of SE Ohio. Home to 1,600 varieties of apples and hundreds of other fruit varieties.