Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Apple royalty

These apples are called Reine des reinettes in French and "King of the Pippins" in English. Curious. Why is it a queen in France, but a king in England? I did a little looking on line, but didn't find any answers. As far as I can tell, reinette should mean "little queen." But the word's origin is apparently disputed in French. Even so, reinette is used to describe dozens of related apple varieties, one of which is the queen of them all: la Reine des reinettes.

Six reine des reinettes apples, ready to be made into a pie.

Wikipedia says that the variety actually originated in Holland and was called kroon renet (crown reinette). It's all very confusing. In English, the word "pippin" comes from the French pépin (seed), so-named because the apple is apparently easily grown from seeds. The French Wikipedia entry says that the English call this variety "Queen of the Pippins" and that it's often confused with "King of the Pippins," but the English entry doesn't mention that at all. And they say it's a French variety, not Dutch.

Oh well. The apples are delicious (but not Delicious), whatever you call them. I made these into a pie on Sunday.

4 comments:

  1. If they're juicy, you might want to put on a McIntosh.

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  2. Ah, so you too have Red Delicious apples, which I rather like.

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  3. You need to talk to someone from Les Croqueurs de Pommes de Touraine. I seem to remember that the term 'reinette' signifies a variety raised from a seedling, the same as 'pippin' in English. I imagine that the French would dispute the Dutch origin. I've always heard of it as an old French variety, and maybe even an old Touraine variety. I've no doubt the guys at Brogdale could shed light on the subject too.

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