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September 19, 2005

Since I'm posting again all of a sudden..

I thought people might find this interesting:

Crazy Swedish Apples!

I'll admit, they're just plain old apples...not really that crazy. But the names are pretty cool. It's some fellow ("Ivo Stad & Land") on Flickr's pictures of a variety of old apple cultivars. Some I recognize, some I don't...the fact that they're in Swedish or something is probably confusing me. I don't know what a 'Vrams Gunnarstorp' or a 'Jömma-äble' are, but I'd eat them just for the names.

Anyone with a knowledge of Swedish or apples (or, preferably, both) feel like translating, feel free to help!

(To be honest, I don't even know if it's Swedish. Just guessing. He lives in Stockholm.)


At 10/27/2005 04:13:00 AM, Blogger Megan Lynch said...

Dabbler in Swedish here....

Don't know what "Vram" means, but "Gunnarstorp" is just a placename. "Gunnar" is a man's name and "Torp" means croft or a small cottage.

"Vittsjö" means "Whitelake"

"Urshults Kungsäpple" "Urshult" is probably another placename and it's possessive here. "Kungsäpple" is literally "King's Apple".

"Svanetorp" Another placename. "Svante" is a man's name and this is probably a compound meaning "Svante's Croft". Although it could also be "Svan" meaning "swan".

"Skovfoged" "Skov" is "forest" in Danish (it's "skog" in Swedish). The extremely bitchin' Swedish-English dictionary site http://lexikon.nada.kth.se/cgi-bin/swe-eng says "fogde" means "sheriff". I'd love to believe it is a typo and meant "Forest Sheriff", but you probably need someone fluent to tell you the real meaning. [Ah! It turns out it's all Danish. "En skovfoged er daglig leder af et offentligt eller privat skovbrug." A "skovfoged" is the everyday leader of an official or private forest preserve {in my completely wild ass guess at the Danish}. So it probably does mean "Forester" in Danish.]

"Renetter" is plural and probably a Danishization of "Reinette". "Dronning Louise" is "Queen Louise" in Danish (and though we're starting to hit Danish names in the apples, that doesn't mean the Flikr poster isn't Swedish).

Ah, those compound Scandinavian words! "Eldröttduväpple" = Fire Red Doveapple

"Oranie" is a placename. "Kanniker" is plural and seems to refer to a rank of clergy. The obvious place to go with that would be "Canon".

"Kalviller, der er noget kantede frugter. Navnets oprindelse er ukendt" Although "kantede" often seems to mean "-sided", I think here it means "ribbed". "The origin of the name is unknown".

Yikes. I'm up way too late geeking out over this stuff. Anyway, you seem to have found an interesting trove of photos of Swedish heirloom and Danish heirloom apples.

At 10/27/2005 10:31:00 AM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

Wow. Anyone who stays up until 4am translating Swedish apple names has my deepest respect. Thanks! One thing I love about foreign cultivars is seeing what sounds like a good name in other languages. If I was naming an apple, "Fire Red Dove Apple" probably wouldn't be at the top of my list.

I'd had a few guesses based on my extremely thin knowledge of Icelandic (two weeks of "Teach Yourself Iceland"), but most of this was well beyond me. ("äpple" = "apple" wasn't too much of stretch...might "äble" be the same in a related language?).

I'm guessing "Kalviller" probably equals "Calville", as in 'Calville Blac d'Hiver' or 'Lombarts Calville' or 'Calville de Gravenstein'.

Another guess..."Pippin" generally refers to a seedling...is "pipping" maybe the Norse equivalent? "Torn" reminded me of the Tjorn, the lake in Reykjavik, but apparently, according to your dictionary site there, it is "tower".

Anyway, thanks...I'd welcome any further thoughts on this.

I'd love to see a truly exhaustive collection of information on apple cultivars at some point, though my guess is the sheer numbers would render it more or less impossible. Considering the size of Hedrick's "Apples of New York", an equivalent "Apples of the World" would probably dwarf an encyclopedia.

At 10/27/2005 01:11:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

Oh...you're Californian, aren't you, so it's not really 4am. Still very impressive, though.

At 10/27/2005 07:24:00 PM, Blogger Megan Lynch said...

Well, I work an 8:30 - 5 job so I really shouldn't be up that late. As witness the fact that I was 20 min. late to work today due to general "out of it"-ness. I can return to that site at a later point and try with the others.

See, "Fire Red Doveapple" sounded bitchin' to me. The way "Pigeon" was put in front of it led me to believe that it was a class of apples. The same way that "Rennetter" was put in front of that other one, indicating it was a Reinette type. Of course, I am very very new to fruit geekery so I don't know my way around heirloom apples yet.

I think it's extremely likely that "pipping" is the same as "pippin" (which I only recently learned meant seedling. I love what the supermarket called "Pippin" apples when I was growing up and only recently learned they were Newtown Pippins and that there were other very different cultivars with "Pippin" in the title).

"&Aeling;ble" is "apple" in Danish. Possibly also in Norwegian (bokmål) but I've only studied Danish and Swedish. As you can see, Danish and Swedish words can be very similar. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian are probably related as closely as Spanish is to Portuguese.

I haven't seen "Apples of New York" but I have read many references to it in recent days and would love to get a look at it. From what little I know now of heirloom apples, it seems that an "Apples of the World" book would be in enough volumes to fill the entire wall of a small town library.

I have a question for you if you know - I've recently read some newspaper and magazine articles about people finding heirloom apple species that were thought to be lost. My question is...if we don't actually have DNA material from the "lost" heirloom apple, how do people know when they've rediscovered it? Simply because of well-kept farm records documenting purchases by so-and-so's great-grandpappy?

At 10/27/2005 07:33:00 PM, Blogger Megan Lynch said...

Dang it. I should have "previewed". That's "Æble".

At 10/27/2005 10:06:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

That's okay. Most of the non-Mac-using crowd probably sees all those accents and special characters as gibberish anyway.

If I cared enough, I'd look up the right HTML to put them in, but I don't, and I like accents and funky characters too much to not use them. I kind of regard them as my way of punishing the PC world for forcing me to interact with it. (Now I've revealed myself as the bitter Mac partisan I am.)

As far as your question, you're absolutely right...it is hard to know for sure if an heirloom has been "rediscovered". Some of these things do exist as herbarium samples that could conceivably yield DNA samples, but those cases are fairly rare (and you have to convince people to A) let you chop up part of their herbarium sample, and B) pay to extract DNA from ancient tissue. If the parents are known (unlikely for an heirloom variety), and they're still around, that might be good enough.

Vast amounts were written at one point about the thousands of apple cultivars out there, so there are pretty detailed descriptions of many of these cultivars. One other really cool means of identifying old apple varieties are the collections of wax models many institutions developed in the 1800's. Back when photography wasn't an option and paintings difficult to reproduce, these were a way of create a permanent reference. Sadly there aren't that many of these left.

One that remains is the collection of 624 apples (and a bunch of other wax fruit and veggies) at the Museum Victoria in Australia. There are others, but I'm drawing a blank right now.

Usually it's a similar process to authenticating an antique: you try to establish provenance, make sure it matches all relevant descriptions, and take your best guess.

Unfortunately, an awful lot of cultivars are likely just gone, nothing more than descriptions. The classic work in my mind is "The Apples of New York", but I'm a native New Yorker, so maybe that's my bias. Regardless, it's an amazing work (and it's by Stephen Ambrose Beach, not Ulysses Hedrick, who wrote, or at least claimed authorship for, the rest of the Fruits of New York series). A British equivalent might be the Herfordshire Pomona. But both are regional works...most areas weren't fortunate enough to have such major incredible books published about their apples. (The only contemporary reference I know of for California is Wickson's "California Fruit", but it's not really the same thing...the descriptions are brief, and there aren't drawings. But it's still an interesting insight into the cultivars growing in California at the turn of the century.)

Wow...this is a long comment. In hindsight, maybe it should have been a post. Oh well.

At 10/27/2005 10:20:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

Some more thoughts on the Swedish apple cultivars:

Astrakener = 'Red Astrakan', an old Russian apple

Urshults kungsäpple = "Urshults" is a place name in Sweden

Melon-citrönapple = Probably 'Melon'.

At 10/28/2005 01:17:00 AM, Blogger Megan Lynch said...

I have no idea about "Jömma-äble" I think "äble" is just the writer's Swedization of the Danish word for apple. I guess he is using it to preserve the variety name as closely as he can, but he doesn't have the æ on his Swedish keyboard.

I'm also a Mac user, BTW. I was trying to use the HTML for the letter because I could be sure it would display properly. That is if I remembered what the *$*! HTML for that was.

Juläble "Christmas Apple"

Järnäpple "Iron Apple"

Oretorp seems to be both a surname, the name of an estate/B&B on Ivosjön and the name of a Skånsk (Scanian) heirloom apple variety. While Googling, I found this page in Swedish on cidermaking and it mentions what it says are genuine Skånsk varieties:

Tegnersäpple, Hanaskogsäpple, Börringeäpple, Flädie, Svanetorp, Fredriksdal, Tornpipping, Villands glasäpple, Oretorp och Vrams järnäpple.

The switching back and forth between Danish and Swedish would make sense in this case because Skåne is at the southern tip of Sweden and belonged to Denmark for a while.

The article mentions Danish heirlooms that are also grown in Skåne: Skovfoged, Arreskov, Gravensteiner, Maglemer, Filippa och Signe Tillisch.

The website, by the way, is a sort of chamber of commerce/industry advocacy/tourist thing. The page itself is touting apple season in Skåne and the group "Scanian Food Experiences".

Smörpäron = Butter Pears

Damn, this is all making me wish I had enough money to visit Scandinavia again.

At 10/28/2005 10:06:00 PM, Blogger Evil Fruit Lord said...

I knew you were a Mac user actually. I'm clever like that. Actually my Sitemeter counter is clever like that. I'm only clever enough to match up times with particular hits.

That's kind of stalkerish, I know. My apologies.

I too have found a Scandinavian apple page (this one's Danish). I haven't even tried to translate it, but it seems to have information on most of the Danish heirlooms you listed.

I'm guessing "Gravensteiner" is 'Gravenstein', which is a damn good apple (and the only one of these cultivars we've been discussing I've tasted...well, maybe I've had 'Calville blanc d'Hiver'...)

This is all making me wish I had the money to visit Scandinavia for the first time (not counting Iceland...not lots of apples there.)

At 10/02/2011 02:36:00 PM, Anonymous Björn said...

I know this is an old post, but i stumbled on it using google. Äble is apple in scanian dialects, and jömma is probably an old spelling of gömma, meaning hide away. I.e hide away apple, probably an apple that keeps well and needs storing before using.

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