Oily Apple

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Oily Apple

Oily Apple

Malus domestica Borkh


DESCRIPTION Landrace introduced in the Municipality of Guardea (TR) from the Marches immediately after the Second World War. Present with only one known specimen. Medium-small fruits with a spheroidal / globose shape that ripen in October and have a remarkable post-harvest storage capacity for many months.

BACKGROUND Regarding this variety, the origin and presence on the regional territory is known.
Antonio Monetini, the farmer who guarded the mother plant, remembers that the variety did not originate in the area, but came from the Marche region. In fact, he specifies that he received the Oily Apple slips as a gift from a traveling haberdasher who in the first years following the Second World War occasionally practiced his trade in the municipalities of Ternano. Struck by the peculiarity of the fruit, he asked the seller to have pupae (slips) to make grafts. Until his death, Antonio was very attached to the tree and his fruits were held in high regard by the family of the elderly sharecropper who spoke of it with considerable pride.
The Oily apple belongs to the functional group of frozen apples, i.e. apples of varieties that constantly have the formation of vitrescence in the pulp. Specialist studies confirm that “in some regions this alteration is also called” oil “and apples subject to this phenomenon are also called” apples from oil “or” frozen apples “” [ Edagricole, “Frutticoltura”, volume 21, Edagricole, Bologna, 1959: 281]. This particular aspect, which depending on the case was assimilated to oil stains or ice, has always aroused interest and curiosity in rural populations, as can be seen from the names assigned to these varieties: Oleosa, Oliata, Dall’Olio, Ice, Ice, Ice. However, it should be noted that the name, attributed on the basis of the characteristic formation of vitrescence in the pulp, was often given to varieties that were otherwise different from each other. Over time, this has generated frequent cases of synonymy and homonymy. Girolamo Molon himself observes in this regard how this winter apple has in different countries “types which resemble it, but which cannot be said to be identical” [Molon G., Pomologia, Hoepli, Milan, 1901: 153-154]. < br />
For example, always in Umbria, precisely in the Eugubino area, ethnographic references were found relating to a similar apple variety. Mr. Baldicchi reports that until about forty years ago a rather unusual variety of apple was present on his farm, usually called ice apple “because it had patches like ice … that is, when the apple was cut it had a speckling It was an external green apple and it was a little squashed … it was very well known in Gubbio many had it … then with the era of tractors … it will be forty years … it has disappeared. .. it’s gone … I looked for it … but … some even said it was oiled because that speck that looked like ice broke like oil “.
Gallesio himself notes this habit of attributing the name on the basis of this character: “we know that Italy has an apple known in Tuscany under the name of Mela Ghiacciola, and that in Piedmont it is called Mela dell’Olio. I have heard it again called Mela Diafana. All three of these names are improper, and all tend to express with a metaphor the singular character that distinguishes it, and which it would be difficult to indicate with a precise name. This is an apple that has the skin covered with large spots of a bright olive-green which penetrate the inside of the pulp, and give that part of the fruit a very particular aspect and meaning. With what epithet was to express such a curious phenomenon? found an analogy with ice, and they called it icicle: others saw the tint of oil in the stains that cover it, and called it oil: others let themselves be deluded by the sheen of that surface, and the ‘they nominated diafana “ [Gallesio G., Pomona italiana, Pisa, 1839: 38].

TYPICAL PRODUCTION AREA The mother plant was found in the municipality of Guardea (TR). To date it is the only known specimen for this accession. The local area is extended to the Umbria region.

GASTRONOMIC USE Variety for fresh consumption, characterized by high post-harvest shelf life both in the loft and in the refrigerator.

Texts taken from “Regional Register of indigenous genetic resources of the Umbria Region”.

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