Dillon and Bhatt revive annual department apple tasting party

Has it really been Fall 2014 since the last edition of the famous UMass Linguistics apple tasting party?? On Sunday October 24, faculty members Brian Dillon and Rajesh Bhatt revived the tradition of our annual departmental apple tasting party.

Front page of apple menu and tasting notes, with QR code to scan for full menu

Heirloom apples from Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston, VT included the spread shown below, clockwise from pale apples with red blush at head of table closest: Winter Banana, Zabergau Reinette, Reinette Clochard, Hudson Golden Gem, Sheep’s Nose, Black Oxford, Lady Apple, Knobbed Russett, Esospus Spitzenburg, Roxbury Russett, Ananas Reinette, Orleans Reinette, Gravenstein, D’Arcy Spice. Apples were also sourced from UMass’s own Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown (e.g., the big Hudson Golden Gems spilling onto the table).

Some of the heirloom apples included in the tasting.

Still more heirloom apples awaited outside, including world-famous baking apples Belle de Boskoop (strudel) and Calville Blanc d’Hiver (tarte tatin), as well as venerable local favorites Macoun and McIntosh, among others.

The outside spread, photo courtesy of Gaja Jarosz

Brian and Rajesh kept busy slicing up apples and bread and cheese and opening bottles of cider in the kitchen, popping out to serve the delectable treats (see Brian serving up his favorite Ananas Reinette below) alongside helpers postdoctoral scholar Maayan Keshev, graduate student Duygu Göksu, faculty member Kristine Yu, and Keshev’s Fudge, who helped clean up (see image below).

Brian serves up his favorite heirloom apple variety, Ananas Reinette
Fudge hoovers up a piece of Hudson Golden Gem that fell on the floor

In addition to the bountiful apple, cider, cheese and bread spread, Rajesh hosted a “identify the mystery fruit” contest, which was won by graduate student Mariam Asatryan and faculty member Kyle Johnson, who were awarded with bottles of (hard) cider.

Rajesh showcases mystery fruit

The party was attended by a wide variety of guests, including toddler Toma, shown below with parents faculty member Shota Momma and Ayaka Negishi.

Toma wants more apple.