We have been enjoying apples recently. They are always best at this time of year, fresh from the orchard, but last week we had a real treat. A local garden centre sourced and was selling about 30 different varieties of apple, mostly varieties that are never seen in supermarkets.

Ribston Pippin
We couldn't believe the range of colours, shapes, textures and - above all - flavours. After some dithering we bought a lovely selection to try at home. So far, we have tried:

Ashmead's Kernal a russet type apple with a delicious nutty flavour. Sometimes this is used to make a fairly dry cider.

Gloster a fairly modern variety from Germany - deep red and sweet, like Snow White's.

Ribston Pippin a parent of the Cox's Orange Pippin, originating from Yorkshire.

Belle de Boskoop a dual purpose apple with a red flecked skin. Lindsey made a delicious crumble.

Adam's Pearmain a Victorian variety with the classic 'strawberry' shape and a lovely nuty flavour.

Ellison's Orange with its unusual aniseed flavour.

We're looking forward to tasting the rest of our haul. As well as helping us with our '5-a-day' it's so good to go beyond the handful of varieties that you find in the supermarkets these days.