by Roger Yepsen, W. W. Norton, 255 pages, $17.95 . CODE: NRT-2
In this compact (5¼-by-6¼-inch), handsomely produced volume, the author, a writer, an illustrator, and a grower, considers ninety of the more than a thousand varieties of apples grown in this country. He provides a fullpage watercolor of each, along with a brief description of its history, appearance, taste, quirks, and charms. Of the Blue Permain he writes, “The fruit glows like plums against the tree’s foliage, and orchard visitors are often stopped in their tracks by the sight.” The Hubbardston Nonesuch, “with its hammered, multicolored surface and russeting,” he calls “a handsomely aging character actor among apples.”
Yepsen includes recipes for cider, brandy, and applesauce, directions for drying and storing, and addresses for ordering fruit or trees by mail. His watercolors are as appealing as old botanical prints, his descriptions as crisp and lively as a Newtown Pippin.