Celebrating Somerset cider apples

Once again, this year, we’re supporting, Common Ground’s Apple Day on October 21 in celebration of the British apple.

The event aims to raise awareness of our national and local varieties and traditional orchards.

This year we’ve been doing some research into Somerset’s oldest, traditional cider apple varieties and have found nearly 100 varieties unique to the county. They range from the Ashton Bitter to the Yeovil Sour.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Brown Snout – Its fruit have a distinctive russet patch around the eye and are a regular conical shape without ribs.

Buttery Door – This is a good sized, rather flattened, firm, pale green or golden, mildly sharp apple.

Fair Maid of Taunton – The fruit is large, rounded and conspicuously butter yellow when ripe come mid-to-late-October.

Lorna Doone – The fruits are ready in early October, are fairly large, flattened-conical with a stout stem in a broad deep basin. The skin is pale yellowish, flushed brown and lightly striped bright red, similar to Somerset Redstreak.

Pig’s Snout – This is a most colourful apple, large, shiny and strongly red striped. It is easy to see how it gets its name, with its distinctive ribs and five crowned snouts almost as broad as their bases.

Porter’s Perfection – This is not ready for harvest until the third week of November. Its fruits are small and dark red with conspicuously light spots round the lenticels.

Wear and Tear – The apples are quite elongated conical with an irregular eye. The fruit stems are often distinctive, bulging and knobbly, and sometimes coloured pink.