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Ashmead's Kernel


Fruit: Apple
Use: Dessert
Origin and History: UK; Gloucester early 1700's
Season: Late
Harvest Time: early/mid Oct
Store: Dec-Jan

Qualities and Taste:
Strong, sweet-sharp intense flavour reminiscent of fruit or acid drops. Firm white flesh. (Source: JM).

Map Reference: A 32
Form: Double U Cordon
Rootstock: M26

Additional Information:
A connoisseur’s apple - crisp juicy, white with yellow tinge; flavour sweet, a little acid and highly aromatic.  An eloquent description of the qualities of the Ashmead’s Kernel was given on BBC Radio (1944) by Morton Shand:  ‘What an apple, what suavity of aroma. Its initial Madeira-like mellowness of flavour overlies a deeper honeyed nuttiness, crisply sweet not sugar sweet, but the succulence of a well devilled marrow bone. Surely no apple of greater distinction or more perfect balance can ever have been raised anywhere on earth’.
Possibly a seedling of ‘Nonpareil’, grown c.1700 in a property owned by the Ashmead family over several generations, in what is now Clarence Street in Gloucester. The original tree was still in existence in early 1800s.  It seems to have gained acceptance early on in West Gloucestershire, and was known to have been propagated in about 1766 by Mr Wheeler, a nurseryman from Gloucester.
The variety come to notice nationally in the 1960s when it showed well in a number of blind tastings conducted by East Malling Research Station.  It finally gained acceptance when, in 1981, it was awarded a First Class Certificate by the Royal Horticultural Society – after nearly 300 years! (Source: CM)
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