Heritage Fruit Have Been Grown In the UK For Centuries. Not All Are Of UK Origin But The Eating & Cooking Options Are Wonderful.

Heritage Apples

It would be hard to write an article about heritage fruit without mentioning the Bramley apple.

Heritage Fruit are great for Small scale fruit growing
Small scale fruit growing

The Bramley apple tree is known for its vigour and long lifespan. It produces beautiful white blossoms in spring, followed by abundant green fruit that matures in late summer or early autumn. Due to its exceptional cooking properties, Bramley apples have become a staple ingredient in traditional British dishes. Their versatility in both sweet and savoury recipes has made them a beloved choice among chefs and home cooks alike.

Bramleys are great for the classic apple pie, eaten with clotted cream or custard. Or how about a hearty apple sauce to accompany a British roast dinner. The Bramley’s unique balance of acidity and flavour makes it a cornerstone of the traditional British kitchen.

I used to live near Wisbech, in Cambridgeshire, which is reported to have grown more Bramley’s than any other English parish.

Heritage Plums

Where can I start here? Czars, Pershore Yellow Eggs?

No, my grandfather grew all of these in his food forest come orchard, but the best in my view is the Victoria. An old variety as the name hints at. Victoria plums first came on the scene in 1837 and was made famous by a Mr Denyer from Brixton, who exported the trees to Sweden. It may well be that the Victoria is even older as it looks like Denyer first called the variety “Sharp’s Emperor” and only changed it to Denyer’s Victoria when Queen Victoria was crowned in 1837. The name was later shortened to Victoria.

Despite its obscure history it is a wonderful plum and one I grew in my own garden.

Heritage Cherries

Kentish Red is the first plum I think of here. It’s a 17th century bright red cherry with sweet succulent flesh that is excellent eaten fresh, in pies desserts and drinks.

Heritage Figs

The classic fig for UK growing has to be Brown Turkey. We’ve grown it here since the 18th century and maybe even longer. This is the one I grow at home as the flavour is good and it is quite prolific once established and well grown.

1000’s of Heritage Varieties

The few heritage varieties mentioned above are the tip of the iceberg. Globally there are thousands to choose from and I’m writing a book about a hundred or more of them. The book will sit in a series, for gardeners and allotment holders, alongside my Heritage Vegetable Varieties book.

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Tag: Heritage Fruit

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