Frosts last May mean that I am now dependent on the supermarket for my dessert apple needs. Modern storage techniques mean that I can still buy British apples, but the range is rather diminished – with most of those that remain being rather recent additions to the canon which first grew (or were first bred) in New Zealand.
This coming week I shall be sampling the offspring of a Braeburn and a Royal Gala, the Malus cultivar known as Scifresh. Presumably fearing that this rather industrial name might not be appealing (or apple-ing) to consumers, they are more commonly known under the apple-ation of the Jazz apple.
Jazz is usually used as a modifier to indicate something transgressive, borrowed from its original application to music. Jazz mags are on the borders of legality, jazz cigarettes lie somewhat beyond and jazz hands are surely never acceptable. However, the Peelers (surely the correct term for policemen who handle apple-related wrong-doing) have not yet felt my collar, so I must assume that jazz apples remain legal, for now. If apple cultivars are to be made illegal, might I suggest that the full force of state coercion is first brought to bear on the Golden Delicious – if nothing else, surely this sorry excuse for an apple could be banned under the Trade Descriptions Act!