Sunday, April 16, 2006

A small slice of Orange

Although I am die hard Sydney-ite or Sydneysider now I grew up in country NSW. I spent the first 18 or so years of my life in Bathurst, a town about 3 hours over the Blue Mountains and west of Sydney. I moved away to university and as my family drifted away to other parts of the world I never really went back.

This Easter my husband and I went on a road trip to visit my father and we all spent Saturday in Orange. We drove straight through Bathurst while I nostalgically pointed out places from my childhood. We didn't stop. Unlike Bathurst, Orange has become quite the haven for foodies - it has several 'hatted' restaurants, plenty of artisan producers and about a squillion wineries.

We were especially interested to visit Borrodell - a vineyard and heritage apple orchard. When we arrived we were given a paper carry bag and pointed in the direction of the orchard which is home to a bewildering 170 varieties of apples - some I have seen for sale at the supermarket , most I have never heard of. We were given the run down of what was in there and what we should look for by the owner Harold Gartrell and let loose.

The view from the restaurant and tasting room at Borrodell

We walked very happily in the sunshine munching on apples as we tasted the different varieties and picked some to take home. We tried plenty of delicious apples but the real stand outs were-

Egremont Russet
As Harold explained are ugly little buggers but very very tasty. They are small little apples with a brown textured skin very similar to pears. They are firm and crisp to bite and have a very tangy taste. They have a long shelf life - up to a couple of months without any discernible loss of flavour according to Harold. I don't think they will last that long at our house.
With their firm texture and tart flavour I would imagine that they would be a great baking apple and am looking forward to making a few desserts with them when I get a moment - especially now the weather is cooler.
Five Crown Pippen
A large-ish sweet juicy eating apple. This was not as exciting as the Russet but a great eating apple and a gorgeous looking apple with it's golden green skin with just a blush of red. It has a distinctive base with 5 raised bumps around the core - making a crown shape, hence the name.

These are a common eating apple and available quite widely but I had never eaten one straight off the tree or at the peak of ripeness. These are beautiful apples, they look just like a storybook apple - glossy, perfectly formed and bright red. We could see the trees from the other side of the orchard with their dark leaves and dots of deep red.

We came back to the tasting room laden with more apples than the three of us could possibly eat but at just $4 a kilo we were very pleased with our haul. We sat and tried a few of the wines and watched people arrive for lunch at the vineyard's restaurant. We didn't have bookings and they were packed so after bundling up all our purchases (we HAD to buy the cherry liquor) we dove back into Orange for lunch.
If you are heading to Orange for some wine tasting I highly recommend you drop into Borrodell and check out a dedicated collectors passion.

Borrodell on the Mt
Lake Canobolas Rd
Orange, NSW, 2800

1 comment:

Gordon Rouse said...

Hi, I'd like to use your photo on an ID poster for a Five Crown apple in our community garden in Yinnar VIC. Please let me know if that would be okay with you! Kind regards, Rosemary