Navajo Peaches, Russian Pastila, and Antique Apple Scoops

A while back I followed an interesting-looking tweet to Atlas Obscura, a website dedicated to revealing the world’s weird and wonderful places, people, things and foodstuffs. It’s just my sort of online diversion: lots of random but fascinating trivia (a lot like my all-time favourite TV show, QI) and some rather lovely photography as well. Recently there’s been a good crop of orchard-related content on the site, for instance:

Navajo Peaches – a member of the Navajo nation by the name of Reagan Wytsalucy is working to identify, propagate and distribute an old variety of peach that was once grown by her people in vast numbers, before being all-but destroyed as part of the US Government’s forced relocation of the Navajo people in the 1860s.

Russian Pastila – a quintessentially Russian sweet treat made from apple puree, egg whites and sugar that’s blended and then slow-baked into something not quite a marshmallow, not quite a meringue, but very tasty-sounding indeed. One for me to look into for my historical orchard recipes series.

Antique Apple Scoops – In the days before dentures, how were the dentally-challenged meant to enjoy a fresh, crunchy apple? With an apple scoop, of course, preferably carved from a sheep’s bone. Yep, you heard me right, a sheep’s bone… these things have to be seen to be believed.

I’m sure there are plenty more orchard-related oddities to be found on Atlas Obscura. I’ve subscribed to their ‘Gastro Obscura’ email list, so I’ll tweet anything interesting via @orchardnotes and I’ll do another link-out post as and when there’s anything really fascinating.

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