Last week at the farmers market, a new apple caught my eye: Summer Rambo. I was captivated by the name and inquired of the farmer. He informed me that they are an early variety of apple, coming to harvest in late summer.
Of course, I bought a few and planned to dip them in honey for Rosh Hashanah, but I was also curious about the varietal, so I did some research. They date to 16th-century France, where they were referred to as “Rambour d’ete.” Rambures is a village in Picardy, France, where these apples are thought to have originated, and “ete” is French for summer.
The apples were later popular with American colonists, who referred to them as Summer Rambours or Rambour Francs. By the 1850s the name was anglicized to its current moniker, which I now know has absolutely nothing to do with the iconic Stallone action movie series.
But back to the apples: They are on the smaller side, which makes sense since they are harvested early. Taste- and texture-wise, they are similar to a Granny Smith — tart, crisp, with little sweetness. Paired with honey, they are pretty perfect; sometimes sweeter apples can make that combo a bit cloying.
If you happen to get your hands on some, grab them — they will soon be replaced by autumn varietals — but this year my holiday table will be graced with Summer Rambos.
In addition to the holiday tradition of apples and honey or for a healthy snack, Summer Rambos would be ideal used as follows:
- In cakes, pies, cobblers, tarts or turnovers
- In apple sauce
- Sliced and served with cheese
- On toast with nut butters
- Chopped in oatmeal or muesli