Cellini sounds like it must be a modern international dessert apple. In fact it is a rather unusual dual-purpose apple, originating from England in the early Victorian era. Rated by the Victorian writer Hogg as a "fine, showy, and handsome apple" - a description which fits it perfectly even though by 21st century standards it looks a bit old-fashioned.
Cellini is now little-known but it is an interesting variety because it is one of the best examples of the importance of the flavour of aniseed in apples. Aniseed or balsam is an important trace component in the make-up of many of the best-flavoured English-style apples, including Cox's Orange Pippin, Ellison's Orange, and Scrumptious. Whilst aniseed does not perhaps sound that attractive in an apple, it seems to have a role in bringing out the richness of flavour associated with the most aromatic apple varieties. If you want to study this flavour, then Cellini is the best way to experience it.
The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.
Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.
No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.
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