I picked the last of this year's apple crop a couple of days ago. We have 7 varieties of apples in the orchard, but not all of them cropped this year*.
From left to right they are Reinette du Canada, Reine des Reinette, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Melrose.
Reinette du Canada appears to be some sort of russet, judging by the rough skin. The fruit is wider than it is high, and remains tart. They are the last of our apples to fully ripen, perhaps because they produce the largest fruit. Last year this one didn't crop at all, so it will be interesting to see what it does next year. An old variety, apparently it keeps extremely well.
Reine des Reinette is indeed the queen of French cooking apples, favoured by many big name chefs. It's a soft sweet apple eaten fresh, an old variety, yellow, streaked with red on more exposure to the sun. Not a great keeper, but long enough lasting that it isn't a mad panic to use them all up.
Golden Delicious, known simply as Goldens in France, are ubiquitious, by far the most popular apple here. Three of the 10 apple trees we have inherited in the orchard are Goldens. Outside of France they are greeted with scorn and derision because of their palid unappetising appearance and their tendancy to go disgustingly floury with age and cold storage. Fortunately, I knew from buying them from an organic grower when we lived in London, that a fresh Golden Delicious is a completely different creature to one purchased in the supermarket, and so I look upon our Goldens reasonably kindly.
Melrose keeps very well and is a great favourite with the birds. I pick them over a period of about 6 weeks, hoping, but not succeeding, to keep ahead of the wildlife. They start off somewhat unripe, but by the last couple of weeks are just about the perfect apple, sweet and crisp. I'd never heard of this variety before we inherited this tree in the orchard, but on looking it up I see it is an American variety.
orchard, for sale in Vival, one of Preuilly's mini-supermarkets.
*The two trees that didn't produce a crop this year, although they cropped well last year, are Jonagored and Ballerina.