Patte de loup is an old variety of French apple, very resistant to pests and disease. The fruit keeps a long time, with a sweet taste and an acidic finish, sometimes a hint of aniseed.
|Organic locally grown apples at Preuilly market.
The variety comes from Maine et Loire, to our west, where it has been grown since the Middle Ages. Legend has it that it was Anne of Brittany's favourite apple.
Patte de loup means 'wolf paw'. Supposedly they are named for the scarring that commonly develops on their skin as they have a burst of rapid growth, which is said to resemble the mark made by wolf claws, or the shape of a wolf's paw.
They are medium sized, a bit flattened and have distinctive russet type rough greeny yellow brown skin.
|Organic Patte de loup apples at Preuilly market for €3.20/kg.
I buy them regularly from my local organic apple orchard at the Saturday market in Preuilly, but you don't see them much in the supermarkets. They can be eaten raw or cooked in tarts or compotes, and pair well with cheese or cured meat.