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Blue Pearmain Apples
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The Blue Pearmain is so called because it has an unusual dusty blue coating, which comes off when rubbed. Underneath, the skin is blushed crimson with deep purple streaking covered with small lenticels and some russeting. This apple is ribbed and on the large size. The Blue Pearmain is distinctive with its very dry, dense yellow flesh, without much juice; one of these apples is very heavy and filling. The flavor is mildly sweet, with some tartness, and fairly complex notes of pear, melon, and vanilla and a sweet, grassy aroma.
Blue Pearmain apples are available in the winter.
Blue Pearmain apples are an heirloom variety of Malus domestica from eighteenth century New England, mentioned by Thoreau. The exact origin and parentage of Blue Pearmains is unknown.
Apples are low in calories and high in several nutrients. One apple has about 4 grams of fiber, which promotes digestive system health, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps create the feeling of fullness. Apples also contain some potassium, Vitamin C, and other antioxidants.
Blue Pearmain apples are versatile, useful for eating fresh, cooking, baking, drying, and making cider. They make excellent baked apples, and are a good option for pies. Applesauce made with Blue Pearmains is chunky and a bit tart. The Blue Pearmain can last two or three months in storage, though they may shrivel.
The name “Pearmain” applies to several varieties of apples. The term refers to an apple shaped like a pear (though upside down- the stem end is more bulbous, tapering to the other end). Pearmains were first mentioned in the 1200s, though most believe that old variety no longer exists.
The first Blue Pearmain apples were likely grown in New England in the early 1700s. They may have originated from Middlesex County in Massachusetts, outside Boston. Blue Pearmains were historically commonly grown in New England and New York in the nineteenth century. They were introduced to the UK in the late 1800s.