Peasgood nonsuch

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The Jolly Contrarian’s Glossary

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An English culinary apple, very large, green or yellowish, blushed and striped with red, excellent for culinary use. In season during September and October. In England it is regarded as one of the valuable varieties introduced in the last 50 years.

—From Spencer Ambrose Beach’s classic The Apples of New York. (1905)

First raised by a Mrs. Peasgood at Stamford, Lincolnshire, England from seed sown in about 1858, the “nonsuch” — so named, we think, because there are “none such as this” — these cooking apples are monsters. They rapidly escaped their Lincolnshire environ and spread around the world, including into the garden of a house in Christchurch New Zealand, where a truculent young fellow used to sit cross-legged, listening to Grandma Contrarian reading him poetry beneath its shady branches, while the world continued on its mad, illogical way.

One September morning a whopper fell upon on the young lad’s head and he has never been the same since.