A new story from Weekend Edition Sunday


Stage I intentionally did not research this at all so I could be surprise listeners I promise I did not spoil him I kept the secret twelve thirty and I call it is half hour hour one on the show NPR news you're listening to weekend edition from NPR news as the decade comes to a close we can now report that in fact you can mix apples and oranges well kind of in the western United States apple anthropologists are excited about the rediscovery of an apple variety that was believed to be extinct it's called the Colorado orange apple juice Shana Meyer of the Montezuma orchard restoration project in southwestern Colorado help to track down the orange apple we asked him what makes it so special so the code orange is a mix of sweet and tart being a winter apple the flavor opens up over time so winter apples like the color to warrant you wouldn't even think of starting to eat until Christmas you go through all your summer apples all your fall apples you have these in the root cellar and then starting Christmas you'd start to pull these out and month by month the flavor would open up a little bit of the sweet would go a little bit of the Tang night but they were still going to be very flavorful they have some of the most complex flavors of any apples you'll ever have they sensed culinary wise if some of the most complex flavors you'll ever have in anything the Colorado orange was popular in the late eighteen hundreds but around the nineteen forties it started to disappear the biggest thing it had going against it was services a yellowish orange juice glowed apple at a time when America was going into mono culture where shiny red apples were considered the only apples worth buying it wasn't because it was bad quality or didn't grow well it lost out like so many of the thousands and thousands of apple varieties that have gone extinct it lost out because it wasn't the shiny red apple shadow Myers has locals around canyon city Colorado cherished the orange apple they knew it was a really high quality apple winner apple good keeping apple in canyon city of the memory of it was kept alive for a long time and the old timers like oh yeah I used to have a tree it died but we kept thinking there was still going to be one around we we felt like we could still find one and so he and his wife Addie started combing the state two years ago we were in canyon city in this orchard in December and this person Mr Diana said day I've got a tree also when he took us to a tree my wife Audi and I looked at it and lo and behold on the ground underneath the tree in the Duff there were these orange blushed apples and then on the tree there were some of the apple still hanging in it had that really good sub acid flavorful taste that you'd expect from a winter apple so yeah it was a it was a big moment for us but the shadow Myers have been careful and taking their time they did cutting edge DNA testing and compared their find to some archival wax apple replicas at Colorado State University they wanted to make sure they'd found the actual orange apple of memory because it's considered extinct there's probably never an absolute but we've got as close to an absolute as we can between this newest new DNA technology the historical provisions of the orchard itself in the wax sample to compare it to that's an extraordinary amount of information that most people would never be able to have to compare anything and so in a couple of years once the young trees get going keep your eyes open in the produce section for something new and please restrain yourself from asking June Shannon Meyer about mixing apples and oranges yeah.

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