For us, the thing about their apples is the sheer variety of their yield. Unlike all the major retailers, Chegworth apples contain unusual and often unique varieties – such as their Chegworth Beauty. Their apples also lack the artificial gloss of supermarket apples and truly live up to their organic nature, being oddly shaped, with different textures and colours. Every apple is individual. As we were sampling the apples, David asked us to huddle closer to taste the layer of ‘rusting’ on a Cox. This distortion and discolouring of the flesh he explained, was the best part, although usually discarded by major supermarkets. True enough, the rusting gave the apple a fascinating sour sweetness.
The apple is more complex to grow than any other fruit. Each pip is genetically unique and so planting any apple seed is a potentially new variety. It was the Victorians who made the biggest contribution to commercial apple growing through mastering the art of grafting; allowing a pre-determined root stock, which gives the tree its size and yield, to be grafted on to a top shoot variety that gives the fruit its character, flavour and size, be it Cox, Russet or another of Chegworth’s unique varieties Crimson Crisp.
We like to eat Chegworth Valley fruit straight from the tree if we can, but also grated into muesli, sliced into salads with soft cheese and nuts, and poached with spices for breakfast or to serve with pork.
Their juices make a great addition to smoothies and cocktails and during the cooler months a hot glass of Chegworth winter warmer is just the ticket.
We sell Chegworth Valley organic juices throughout the year at both our shops and from autumn to spring we also stock varieties of their organically grown apples, pears and other orchard fruits.