Another apple grown by our friend Donald Jere in Chipata, Zambia, East Africa, this time Coconut Crunch. This is one of the “off season” apples, from the second bloom. It is not unusual for apple trees to have two bloom periods in warm climates, the main crop in the spring, and then a second, much smaller crop in the fall. In So. Calif. these usually don’t ripen well, but in the tropics they can achieve full maturity.
Coconut Crunch doesn’t taste at all like coconut; in fact, it has wonderful classic apple flavor. The coconut part of the name has to do with the texture, dense and hard like a hunk of coconut. But in a hot climate this is less pronounced, and it just tastes like a classic winter keeper. It is high vigor and not bothered by heat or lack of chill, and is suitable for planting in all hot and tropic locations.
I greatly enjoy your descriptions and photo essays on tropical apple growing.
That one sounds like it could have felt right at home here this year where I have one apple tree on its third bloom for the year while I’m picking the apples from its first bloom. This round won’t be setting because there is nothing to pollinate them. Your description of Coconut Crunch having a dense, classic apple flavor sounds much more appealing than the bland ones I’m harvesting.
I’m finding that the same heat that destroys the quality on some apples like Northern Spy also wakes up the flavor in others like Wickson and Coconut Crunch, making them much more palatable than those grown in colder climates.
But you never can tell what they are going to do until you just try it. I’ve heard lots of speculation why certain varieties won’t do well in the tropics, some of it panned out and some was flat wrong. The only thing to do for sure is to just graft your heart out and see what comes of it. It’s still faster than trying to institute some type of tropic breeding program.