Unexpected Recognition

Sometimes you don’t notice things until you’re made aware of them. Then they’re ubiquitous – but it’s not the world that’s changed, its your perception that’s altered.

I had just finished reading about desirable strains of wild apple and crabapple trees when I went for a walk Saturday. Passing by a local retail complex, I noticed a stand of decorative crabapples that I recalled being covered in pink flowers early in spring, and that were now laden down by a heavy crop of marble-sized red fruits. Out of curiosity, I picked a few and found them to have a crisp texture, clear, pleasant tartness – and bright red flesh all the way through.

I’m reasonably certain that I’ve found some Hopa Ornamental crabapples, a variety that Euell Gibbons praises as being both delicious and commonly planted. They seem to lack the faint bitterness that makes many wilding apples and most crabapples not really desirable for raw eating.

How many times had I passed those trees without recognizing them as edible? Or even noticing them at all?

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