Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Munchable Soapbox: Nouveaux Riche and Old Money

The apple is a remarkable fruit. It has a long, global history and manifests in a diversity of size, shapes, and flavors. (Also, not that all three of those links are my musings on the magnificence of apples). This is sort of the crux of today's blog title. New varieties of apples are constantly in the works, being crossed and bred to produce something tastier, crunchier, juicier, you name it. At the same time, we are experiencing a resurgence of heirloom varieties of apples. I have to admit to struggling a little - do I give in to the crisp deliciousness of the recently unveiled Honey Crisp or stay loyal to the centuries-old Golden Russet or Black Twig?

Well, I was listening to a podcast the other day, when I learned of the newest star on the apple stage: SweeTango. Oh yes, it sounds like an enticing dance, but sadly it is too late in the year to give the apple a taste. Child of the Honey Crisp and the Zestar, both relatively young apples. What struck me was that the SweeTango is 'managed.' Meaning that there are strict guidelines and contingencies to even get permission to grow the patented apple. That said, I still wouldn't mind trying one...
What do you think about intellectual property rights of food crops? Do you have any preferences between the 'nouveau riche' and the 'old money' of the apple world?

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