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Noel des Champs

Why you should be excited

Noel des Champs is a bittersweet cider apple from Normandy that's one of 13 authorized primary varieties in the Pays d'Auge.

The story of Noel des Champs

Noel des Champs. Translated, it means Christmas fields. A hint that this may be your last apple variety to ripen each year. This bittersweet cider apple is also used in the making of Calvados, one of France's most prized brandies.

It's one of 13 premium apple varieties identified by regulation in the Pays d'Auge region of Normandy as eligible to be a primary variety in cider production. So it's got history and prestige on its side.

Noel des Champs is also precocious, which means young trees of this variety will start bearing fruit at a younger age than many other varieties. Plus it's more productive than most. And tolerant of common diseases, like scab.

All things considered, it's fair to say Noel des Champs is a winner of a cider apple.

Noel des Champs Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Normandy, France, 19th century.

Flavour, aroma, texture

A bittersweet cider apple.

Appearance

Small, flattish and flushed with red plus red stripes.

When they’re available

Very late season (usually in late October).

Quality for fresh eating

You won't ever want to bite into this bittersweet cider apple.

Quality for cooking

Cider, yes. Calvados, yes. Other uses, nope.

Quality for cider

Very good. Cider is what Noel des Champs is all about.

Keeping ability

Limited (a few weeks 'sweating' is fine).