This year, of course, there will be no Antique Apple Tasting at the Peter Burr House, however, my source for these apples, Distillery Lane Ciderworks in Jefferson MD (right outside Burkittsville) is open on the weekends. What is remarkable about this orchard is that they have so many varieties that are historic ones. Summer Rambo is one of them -- though the 16th C. variety tended to be more red-cheeked; the more popular green-cheeked one of today may be a sport [mutation] - or simply picked to be slightly unripe. Some of these apples pictured below have the distinct red-cheeks of period illustrations.
Summer Rambo has quite an ancient history, being recorded in a French village in 1535. To put this date in perspective, this was well before the birth of Shakespeare. In England in 1535, the country was roiled by the king, Henry VIII declaring separation from the Roman Catholic Church -- but he was only getting started. In France, church reformers and the traditional Catholic church establishment were also clashing, but John Calvin had yet to write his works and set off a whole new branch of the Christian church. Meanwhile, no matter the political and religious turmoil, people tended their plants and animals, and Summer Rambo was among those lovingly nurtured. In the American colonies, Summer Rambo is recorded among apple trees in the mid 18th C. here.
Like most summer apples, Summer Rambo is to my taste a bit sharpish, nice and bracing, eating fresh. It makes terrific apple sauce. As the season progresses, they will have more varieties, both modern and historic (with more than a fair selection of 17th C. and 18th C. varieties!)
Summer Rambo apples were a 16th century French apple, popular with American colonists. They are crisp and juicy, a great apple for early season, eating out of hand and also perfection for sauce.
👀 Find these delicious apples at DLC. Visit us Saturday - Sunday • 12 - 5pm 🍏