Pink Lady- surprisingly good

alan haighDecember 15, 2013

This year was more like a Z5 season as far as the arrival of spring here- I'm on the cusp between 5 and 6, at any rate. I got my first crop of Pink Ladies and I was worried they wouldn't ripen enough to get top quality as Nov. turned cold early- unlike previous several years.

I kept them on the tree as long as I could but even while the apples were firm he leaves were pretty much dead by frost (temps below 20) so I picked them the second week of Nov. After a couple of weeks in storage they sweetened up into a very nice sweet tart apple with a unique and appealing texture.. They are extremely beautiful on the tree with that wonderful pink color.

This is an extremely grower friendly apple- sizes up fast but also fruits young with a very good branching habit. It has reasonable disease resistance and is amongst the healthiest trees in my nursery. Mine are all on 111 and they fruit as quickly as Goldrush while maintaining higher vigor. At t his point I recommend it, but it seems more suited for fresh eating than cooking.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Can't get any size on mine. Must not be watering enough or they need some shade around here. Mine are about half the size of Golden Delicious and maybe 40% of Ginger Gold.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 7:53PM
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alan haigh

The size here was small also, but not the flavor. Goldrush is supposed to have a problem with sizing up but they got pretty bit here this year but I thinned them more because they tend to be biennial here.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2013 at 10:11PM
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My Pink Lady is on M111 as well, it stays "lunchbox" size even if I thin to one per cluster. As for fresh eating, it has spoiled me on any other apple.

It's always good to hear that Pink Lady performs well in a wide range of climates.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 10:52AM
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alan haigh

They are probably not as high brix as yours are, Mr. Clint. I hear it is a perfect warm climate apple. At least mine are as good as store bought, which, with Pink Lady, can be quite good.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 5:51PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I had Pink Lady for the first time this year. They tasted really good. I have mine in 100% full sun in my climate. I harvested them before 15 degrees outside. They are supposed to be one of the best keepers. I was really impressed with the tart/sweet balance. Sadly, Jo Robinson in her new book "Eating on the Wild Side" listed Pink Lady and GOlden Delicious as two varieties with almost no nutritive value. Crabapples are supposed to be the most nutritious. Gold Rush was really good this year too. I agree with other posters who said that they are good to harvest when they move from the green to a yellowish color.
John S

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 10:05PM
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alan haigh

And what did she mean by nutritive value? I assume PL has its share of flavenoids and that tartness must indicate some C.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:17AM
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alan haigh

I searched as far as I have time this morning. Found no research but a lot of other sources that have a different take on nutrient content of PL suggesting that it is a particularly nutritious apple.

Here is a link that might be useful: flavenoid content of Pink Lady

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:24AM
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alan haigh

According to this study, PL is relatively low in nutrients, including flavenoids and, unfortunately, Red Delicious rates highest. My taste buds obviously don't know what's good for them.

Oh well, Goldrush is my staple apple anyway. It's not famous enough to be rated.

Here is a link that might be useful: nutrient comparison

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:07AM
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Harvestman, looking at the 2nd study you linked, from Chile, I would say that the researchers were poor scientists and reported on a poor study.

The Red Delicious apples tested were 1/3 the weight of the Pink Lady apples; the Pink Lady apples were by far the largest ones tested (see the first chart in the study). All of the nutrient comparisons were based on the amount of nutrient per gram of fruit, not per apple.

They really did not control for size of apple, as a careful researcher would have done. It looks like they really found that smaller apples have more nutrients per gram, instead of that a Red Delicious apple is healthier than a Pink Lady. They needed to report on similar sized specimens to be able to state with certainty that one cultivar has more nutrients than another (sure, many Pink Lady specimens are larger than many other commercially sold apples, but not all of them).

Another observation: a larger proportion of the nutrients were found in the peel. Three of the little Red Delicious that they tested have more peel than one of the Pink Lady apples.

Another way to look at the statistics: the 1/3 size Red Delicious apple has double the nutrients per gram of a Pink Lady, so the Pink Lady apple actually has more total nutrients per apple (granted it is a bigger apple). There are still quite appreciable amounts of nutrients in the Pink Lady.

Eat what you enjoy :)

This post was edited by eboone on Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 8:46

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:44AM
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Pink Lady is one of the apples I want to plant next year. I have a few different types planted this year, and want to get some more planted next year. I want to be able to compare and see what type does the best in my area. Though I will keep several types since each year is differnet and they may do better one year than the next.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

" At least mine are as good as store bought, which, with Pink Lady, can be quite good."

Any who eats fresh apples knows that they are superior to store bought apples. However, pink lady just seems to be that good of an apple, i'm hooked just eating the grocery store apple! Something about the pink, the tart, the crunch, the flavor..

" Jo Robinson in her new book "Eating on the Wild Side" listed Pink Lady and GOlden Delicious as two varieties with almost no nutritive value. Crabapples are supposed to be the most nutritious. "

First, the reason crab apples are toted "more nutritious" is because crabapples are more wild, people tend to plant them and forget about them, they don't put the time in to constantly maintain and spray crabapples (probably because they aren't eating them). So the apple has to adapt naturally and produce more antioxidants,etc to try and keep control of the insects, etc. basically, if the people aren't taking care of the tree, the tree would do its best to take care of itself.

Second, it pains me greatly to see some whack studies showing no nutrients in certain apples. It pains me even more that the grower, who was enjoying a perfect nutritious pink lady, is not eating the pink lady apple anymore because they read a ridiculous study about how deficient the apple is of nutrients.

I swear, some studies do more harm than good. If you grow that apple, give it an abundant of nutrients, trace elements, etc, you know the apple is nutritious. Forget these studies..

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:09AM
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I'm wondering about that "nutritive value" comment too John. Somebody told me as a kid that apples were mostly empty calories, and that stuck for a long time.

But aside from the antioxidants and vitamins that they all have to some degree, apples are a source of pectin which is a soluble fiber and good for digestion and blood sugar.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 4:41PM
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If I had any free time on my hands I would try to contact the Pink Lady patent holder and ask for a comment on this nutritional data. As it sits, I'm still a huge Pink Lady fan and will continue to eat them with great gusto. :)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:15PM
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alan haigh

eboone, I like your analysis. I skimmed through the study because I got trees to prune from now into eternity, but I probably would have missed your insights even if I wasn't in a rush.

Crabapples have a very high ratio of skin to fruit, obviously, but they also are a highly concentrated fruit compared to apples- but so what, how many you gonna eat in a form where you utilize the skin?

Many apples are quite high in vitamin C, Pink Lady is moderately so. They also tend to be rich in K. Because the sugar is wrapped in cellulose they seem to contribute to maintaining a healthy weight- as juice they lose this virtue.

When people used to say that apples were not a very nutritious fruit, they were talking about the low C content of most popular varieties and it was before they knew the value of roughage and flavenoids.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I just ate one of my granny smiths that hung till november 15th.
Very tart, hint of sweet and a vineous trace. Very good. Best GS I've ever had. I think that I read that PL is related to GS. I really enjoyed PL last winter and bet they'd do OK here too. They were sprayed with surround and had some sooty stuff that just washed off. I cant wait for my GR and sundance to begin fruiting.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:14PM
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