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Autumn apple festival focuses on the ancient, the modern and the tasty.


This year�s West Winds Apple Festival runs from Saturday 23 October to Sunday 31 October 2010, customers will be able to taste 20 different varieties of dessert apple, many of which can�t be found in the shops. You can also sample a range of delicious main course savoury dishes, puddings and cakes made with apples.

The tearooms will be open for West Winds Apple Festival from 12.30pm to 6pm (except Monday and Tuesday) with apples on sale too. Why not come and visit for a free tasting followed by lunch, afternoon tea or high tea?

The apples are all coming from Yorkshire Orchards, a small, family-run orchard containing around 180 varieties. It was established in 2002 close to Wilberfoss, near York, and continues to expand. Many of the apples grown by Alec and Angela Allison at Wilberfoss have evocative or historical names that reflect the magic and depth of the world of apples away from the shelves of the supermarkets. American Mother, Scrumptious, Laxton�s Superb, Irish Peach, Lord Lambourne, Devonshire Quarrendon, Belle de Boskoop, Ingrid Marie and Greensleeves are names that come from a world where quality comes before quantity and convenience of production and storage. There are actually over 2000 varieties of apple in existence, many with flavours and colours that outclass the modern �factory� varieties such as Golden Delicious and Granny Smith.

Apples originated in the Middle East more than 4000 years ago and have probably been grown in the UK since Roman times. Specially cultivated apple varieties arrived in England via France at around the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Normans had a strong tradition of apple growing and introduced many apple varieties including Pearmain and Costard.

There was a decline in apple growing in the 13th century as a result of the Black Death, as well as repeated droughts. This was reversed by Henry VIII who instructed his fruiterer, Richard Harris, to establish the first large scale orchards at Tynham in Kent. Harris began to import apple trees from France and planted a model orchard which was used to distribute trees to other growers.

Old English was the main dessert apple in England until at least the 18th century. Today, one of the most highly regarded apple varieties in the world is the English Cox. It dates back to 1825 when Richard Cox raised the first tree in his garden in Berkshire. The apple then started to receive public acclaim after Queen Victoria�s head gardener Thomas Ingram championed the variety in the 1850s.

For details of Yorkshire Orchards, visit

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