Pink-a-Boo. Beauty isn't always only skin deep

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Beauty isn’t always only skin deep. At least it isn’t at my local farmers market here in Yorkville. Specifically, I’m talking about ‘Pink-a-Boo’. That’s got to be my newest favorite apple. Last time I was extolling all the wonderful apples that appear there each fall but ‘Pink-a-Boo’ really deserves some special attention. OK, OK. I know I have a lot of favorite apples. ‘Ashmead’s Kernel’, ‘Macoon’, ‘Calville Blanc’... The list goes on. There’s a trend going on here, in case you haven’t noticed. I usually fall for the ones that are a bit more tart and sassy. ‘Pink-a-Boo’ certainly has those features in spades. Perched just on the sweeter edge of tart, it’s also crunchy and crisp.

Of course there are a lot of pink apples strutting about. ‘Cripps Pink’ (poshed up as ‘Pink Lady’), Rosy Glow’, ‘Pink Belle’... Taste aside, the pink of these apples really is only skin deep, calculated to attract the eye with come-hither blushiness from atop supermarket piles. Not the case with ‘Pink-a-Boo’. There’s a surprise inside this one. Sink your teeth in. Take a look. Inside each fruit is a delight of pink-marbled flesh waiting under the skin. Like edible rose quartz, it seems, sparkling and translucent as a semi-precious gem in the sun.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to track down the apples’s pedigree yet. I wonder if ‘’Pink-a-Boo’ is a descendent of ‘Surprise’, another pink-fleshed apple that was brought to Ohio by immigrating Germans about 1840. ‘Surprise’, thought to have a mean streak of
Malus niedzwetskyana in it’s lineage, is certainly unusual but was never especially popular due to its dull yellow to tan skin and acidic taste. However, it was used to develop the more commercially acceptable, ‘Pink Pearl’, bred by Albert Etter in California in 1944. ‘Pink-a-Boo’ could also be another pink apple playing hide-and-seek behind a newer, catchier name. There are actually an awful lot of pink or red-fleshed apples around (see link at bottom) and name-change games happen more often than you might think in commercial marketing.

Thanks to
 Samascott Orchards in Kinderhook, New York for growing these tasty beauties and trucking ‘Pink-a-Boo’ all the way into the City for me!

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