After heroically supplying us with stored produce through the depths of winter, our root cellar has more or less laid abandoned since May. We begin to lose the appetite for our months-old food when the tender spring greens come into season. Though we make an effort to blaze through the remnants by cooking soups, stews, and sauces, there is inevitably some food that sits and sits and sits, as we can't bear to eat the very last of it, nor bring ourselves to eat any more.
By the time June and July roll around, I am afraid to peek into the cellar, but it so happens that what remains is mostly intact. We actually had near-perfect storage conditions this winter; the deep snow proved to be effective insulation material and amazingly we had very little spoilage and no rodent damage. (They must've heard rumors about our vicious cats and decided to move to a different neighborhood.)
We recently dug into the deep recesses of our root cellar and unearthed two of our remaining six Black Oxford apples for a taste test. Despite being in storage for an impressive eight months, the fruits were surprisingly firm and delicious, not puckered and barely edible as they usually would be this time of year. True, they lacked some of the flavor and brilliant deep purple hue of a Black Oxford in its prime (January/February), but this certainly sets our personal record of eating and enjoying a Black Oxford apple this late in the year!
We hereby give this Black Oxford apple the thumbs up on July 19th, 2015.