The Lobster mushroom is actually a parasitic hybrid of the fluorescent red-orange fungal parasite, Hypomyces lactifluorum, and the brittle white mushroom, Russula brevipes.
The largest of all tree-borne fruits, jack fruit is oval-shaped and knobbly-skinned. This fruit can weigh up to eighty or ninety pounds.
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Topaz apples are pale yellow and overlaid nearly completely with a ruby and orange blush, its yellow base coloring peeking out just slightly at its stem. Its skin is also often speckled with faint white lenticels. Its juicy inner flesh is creamy white in color with a firm and crisp texture. When first picked its flavor is sweet tart with nuances of spice, a flavor which will mellow in storage.
The Topaz apple is available starting in the mid fall season and throughout the winter months.
A relative of Golden Delicious and Czech variety apples Lord Lambourne and James Grieve the Topaz apple was bread specifically to be resistant to common apple tree diseases such as scab and mildew. Along with Golden Delicious the Topaz is a parent to a new variety of apple created in 1999 known as Opal developed at the Institute of Experimental Botany in Prague. There are other variates of the Topaz apple on the market today known as the Crimson Topaz and Red Topaz that as their name indicates have a deeper red hue than that of the original Topaz apple.
Topaz apples are an excellent fresh eating apple and perfect for use raw in salads or as an accompaniment to cheese and cream based dips. They also are exceptional when used in a variety of cooked dishes both sweet and savory. They can be sliced and roasted, boiled down to make a puree or baked in a number of different preparations. The sweet tart flavor of the Topaz apple pairs perfectly with sausage, charcuterie, robust cheeses, sage, shallots, bitter greens and winter squash. Dessert companion ingredients include brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salted caramel, walnuts, pears, cranberries and rhubarb.
A cross between two Czech variety apples, the Vanda and Rubin, the Topaz apple was developed in the 1990’s at The Institute of Experimental Botany in the Czech Republic. The apple industry of the Czech Republic is renowned, particularly throughout European countries for its great contribution of new disease resistant apple varieties the past few decades. A self-sterile variety the Topaz apple tree requires a pollinator to produce its fruit. The Topaz apple is relatively easy to grow and if thinned properly will bear medium to large sized fruit.