Priest Bite Apple

Ark of taste
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Mai bocun del preve

Mela boccone del prete, mai bocun del preve Boccone del prete apples, called ‘Mai bocun del preve’ in the local dialect of Valle Bormida in Liguria, have a smooth yellow skin. The medium-sized fruit has a slightly tapered shape (not round). It is a hard apple, harvested at the end of October and preserved until April. The flesh is yellow, the scent intense and the taste sweet and delicate. These apples are eaten mainly raw, and then cooked once they starts drying. The story goes that, thanks to its particularly delicate taste, this type of apple was particularly appreciated by the priest, who was the village authority (hence its name). This is one of the historical varieties which still exist in the Ligurian side of Valle Bormida. In particular, two trees are left in Pallare and two in Mallare. Every year, the second Saturday of March, the Meladay (the day of old apple varieties, or ‘ra giurnò der maire antighe’) is celebrated at the Earth Market in Cairo M.tte. On this occasion, donors of branches with shoots used for grafting and apple ‘custodians’ meet. The latter will then plant the grafted rootstock . During the day, branches for grafting are offered, and those who do not own plants are given a rootstock with a grafted branch, prepared by a team of experts. Only a few trees are left to take the branches for grafting. If new plants are not grown, the variety will disappear in a few years, but we hope that about a hundred plants will exist in about 5-6 years.

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