In 2020 me and my family could taste (or will yet get to taste) several new fruit. I was thinking that I would document them (as well as my experience with the trees) in a new thread. Next year I’ll already have a reference for ripening dates.
We planted this standard tree in fall 2019, so we’ve been very exited that it already flowered this year! It bore 3 fruit but 2 fell off or were eaten by birds.
On 21. August I picked the plum and on 22.8 we ate it. It was juicy and very sweet, with a distinct plummy taste, but no pronounced acidity.
I was honestly surprised how much I liked it because I’ve read on Orange Pippin Plum - Czar - tasting notes, identification, reviews
that it is mostly planted for its resistance and hardiness and less for taste.
I didn’t expect it to be this ripe, because the base color was still purplish pink. It was still firm to the touch which is another reason why I didn’t think it would be ripe. The flesh was semi-freestone, maybe it gets freestone if longer left on the tree.
The flesh had a really nice, deep amber color, like a well-ripened Fellenberg.
Triomphe de Vienne
This tree was planted as an espalier in 2010 and has fruited this year for the first time. The tree has always looked beautiful and healthy and has bloomed at least for the last 4 years, but was always unlucky concerning frost.
This year, there were 5 pears on the tree, my mother picked the first one on the 13. of September. She kept it in the open, not in the fridge. Today on the 18. we ate it.
It was very slightly soft around the stalk. The flesh was juicy, but not overly so. Around the core were fine grit cells. The flesh was melting, with a mild taste. It reminded me of Conferénce, and my parents agreed. In a blind taste test I propably would not be able to tell the difference between these two varieties.
The skin was somewhat dry, but not anoyingly so.
All in all, a big, beautiful pear with good taste. Our sample wasn’t fully ripe, so I’m expecting the other fruit to be even better
Here you can see the ripening fruit on 24. August. As you can see, the leaves are beautiful and look mostly healthy.
This spring I bought a Hosui asian pear dwarf tree in a container. It already had set many fruitlets. After planting it, I trimmed most of them off. I left about twenty. Propably far to many, but I expected the tree to lose most of them anyway and I was very curious. I had never tasted a Nashi, I didn’t even know they existed until I read about them here!
Then I found it in a garden center and I had to have it and to know how it tastes!
Nashi aren’t commonly available in grocery stores or known widely in Switzerland, so I had no idea at all what I’m buying here…
This is the tree on the 4 of September.
As you can see, it kept most fruits but they are very small. The tree didn’t grow at all, not even new leaves. I hope I didn’t runt it by keeping this many fruit. If curiosity killed the tree, I’ll be quite angry at myself!
Anyway, it was worth it because I got to taste the fruit and (drumroll) I liked them! I picked them all on the 12. September, but I had at least a week earlier tasted the first one ( ant damage).
Because they were so small, I expected them to be dry, tasteless little balls, but in fact they were very juicy.
The taste is a little difficult to describe, to me it was like punch or mulled wine?
The core on the other hand had a really bad taste, bitter and sour. Even worse than an Euro pear. But I guess this will be better next year if the fruit get bigger…
I didn’t like how the taste gets almost overwhelming as the fruit gets riper…
So in conclusion: very pretty, clean looking fruit with an interesting taste (and a hopefully unkilled tree). I also liked how long they kept on the tree.
Congratulations! They are like mine. I just love them. Very sweet and a bit floral… Very fresh!
They are very small but tree loads every year!
This are my small nashi pears… Hosui it seems.
@Oepfeli your Asian pears looked russeted but @Luisport does not.
Hosui is a russeted Asian pear. Quite positive that Luis‘ is not Hosui.
Ok then, I thought because they are small and about the same form… Well it’s a nashi.
Those are not that small. You can look up yellow skin Asian pears. Common ones are Shinseiki and Nijisseiki.
As always in fall I’ve been very busy and am really far behind with my fruit recording, but it doesn’t matter, because taking notes makes it possible to make the final report months later!
Anyway I’ve tasted two new pears of Swiss origin this fall.
The Muotathaler Heulampe and the Schafbirne.
Both seem to be very old and almost unknown varieties. While my mother got them both from a nursery, there is (almost) no description available online.
The name means hay-lamp from the Muotathal, which is a valley and village in the canton of Schwyz.
We have 2 standard trees of this variety. I’ll have to verify their planting date with my mother but I’d guess between 5 to 8 years ago? (My mother thinks about 2007, shows how bad I am at guessing. Plus how extremely slow growing these trees are.)
Even though these are standard pear trees, they are very weak growing and have a somewhat spreading and weeping growth habit (for a pear).
One tree is in full sun and good soil, while the other one is in half-shade near the forest.
While the one in full sun is somewhat more vigourous, the growth habit is the same and quite distict from your ‘typical pear’.
Both trees had six pears this year. While they had flowered in past years, there had newer been any pears.
My mother picked them all around the 20. of September.
On September the 25. we tried two of them:
As you can see, these are somewhat squat pears. Interestingly, they have been reddish since they were little fruitlets. While some pears lost the red blush to get brownish and russeteted, some kept the red cheek on the sunny side.
Cut up, they looked like this.
The pear that was already a little brown inside was mushy and tasteless. But the other one was excellent. The skin was a little thick and bitter but the flesh was creamy and juicy. Tastewise it was quite flavorful, with a lot of acid for a pear. I found it somewhat similar to Josephine de Malines.
About this pear even less information is available. The sources agree that it is mainly a drying pear and very hardy. This is certainly true. It was planted in the same year as the two Heulampe pears, but while these probably are only about 3 meters high, the Schafbirne pear tree exceeds 5 meters. It is a very bushy and fast growing pear with pear typical Stubborbness in regard to pruning. The leaves look quite healthy. It flowered the first time this year and set about 30 pears.
This pictures were taken on the 25. August
I picked them all on the 18. September:
It is quite a small pear, with a very long and thin stalk. Some of them had light scabbing, but really not enough to annoy me.
When ripe, they are yellow with a red cheek. The meat of the pear is quite dry and a little gritty, but very sweet. The soft part was even sweeter. I assume that one has to leave them to turn soft and brown and then dry them whole, like other traditional drying pears.
(There are many old pear varieties like this, that get brown and mushy and are still edible or even better than otherwise.)
It is not a BAD pear for eating fresh, but clearly, it will shine in other departments. When they got mushy I used them in a sauce for meat and I got no complains. I cut them in halves, scooped out the core, chopped them up and together with onions, wine, some tomatoes and spices they made a very nice sauce.
It fit very well in sweet-sharp sauces or maybe in sweetn’sour ones?
On Friday, the first of July, I picked a small bowl of Cherries. The variety is called Spitzibühler Rote. The tree is a standard, aged between 15 and 20 years old and has until now never had much fruit for one reason or other. Certainly not enough to definitely judge the fruit quality. This year, we got enough to make a first assessment.
They are beautiful cherries, quite big compared with our other varieties. They are crunchy, mildly sweet. Overall, the whole family was pleased with them.
Note: the scale is in centimeters not inches
On 11.7.22 we picked the first two Red Astrachan apples. This is the earliest date ever to pick (edible) apples here as far as I know. Traditionally, Yellow Transparent are expected at about the first of August around here, which makes the Astrachan a very early apple.
Technically, the Red Astrachan are not new fruit in my orchard, since we already got some in 2020. But since I didn’t properly document them then, I’ll do this now.
They are quite big apples, with a kind of reverse bell shape. Often they are somewhat lumpy, which was more pronounced this year because of hail damage. When they are ripe, the base color is a whitish yellow, the over color is a lovely purple-pink-red with a white bloom. The flesh is very white an can have some red spotting directly under the skin. Similar to yellow Transparent the pips have to be white at picking time. If they are brown, the apple is already over ripe.
In the photos above, the Apple has some kind of damage. This may be the reason it was ripening so early. But it was definitely a fully formed fruit with the appropriate taste and texture, just maybe two weeks early.
Herman plum: first plum picked on 13. July
This is an older tree, about ~ 15 years. Since I never got to eat plums from it, I’ll document them here. (This is mainly not the trees fault. I was often away when the fruit were ripe in the last years. Additionally, since it ripens so early, it is targeted heavily by crows.)
The plum is somewhat round and plumb. The color is a beautiful deep blue. The taste is only slightly plummy and sugar and acid is low. It can’t keep up with the good Plums like Fellenberg, but it does not have to, because it is by far the earliest plum in our orchard.
This apple is called Schöner von (Beauty of) Fontanette, a local variety from the Swiss Canton Jura. According to the Nursery it should ripen in October and keep until June. Since it was partially pecked by crows, I picked it on the 5 September 2022. It was definitely massively underripe and very sour, it needed at least two weeks more ripening time. It seems to be on the drier side. I’m looking forward to hopefully taste a ripe one next year. As you can see, it is a beautiful apple with an old fashioned kind of charm. It reminds me somewhat of Boskoop, if only in the shape and coloring of the fruit.
This year we got the first fruit from a dwarf Jakob Fischer tree. Here is a photo of the apples still on the tree. As you can see, they are quite beautiful with an unusual pink coloration.
Additionally, they were quite big, fist-sized almost. The tree is very healthy with large leaves, but with an odd kind of growth habit, kinda curling branches that have to be forced down.
On the 9. September we picked the apples and tried them.
Without the heavy bloom, the apples were quite dark in color. The texture was very unusual for a rather early apple, very dense and hard, but also very juicy. The fruit in the picture has also significant watercore on the underdeveloped side.
The taste was acidic and refreshing, but a little “unfinished”
It was very difficult to decide when to pick them and I guess it was somewhat too early and the taste would have gotten more rounded with time. Overall I am pleased with these apples and looking forward to finding out more about them.
This year we got to taste the first Victoria plum on the 6. September . It was quite small and nothing remarkable. The color is very beautiful but the fruit was very soft and not very sweet.
I’m not holding this against the tree since it was only planted in fall 2019. I guess not every first taste can be overwhelming, but I do hope they get better