Heirloom apples you’ve never tried, courtesy of AI
2 min read

Heirloom apples you’ve never tried, courtesy of AI

Heirloom apples you’ve never tried, courtesy of AI

It’s apple season in the northern hemisphere! If you’re lucky enough to live in an apple-growing region, you may even be able to get ahold of heirloom apples. These older varieties have fallen out of favor, sometimes because their tree wasn’t robust enough, or they didn’t ship well. Sometimes you don’t find these heirlooms around because they are ugly as sin. Otherwise delicious! But they look like potatoes that were sat on by a bear, or cursed quest items that will transform you into a mushroom. The Apples of New York, published in 1905, lists thousands of heirloom apple varieties, and with these names as a starting point (I collected some modern varieties too, making about 2500 names), I trained a neural network (textgenrnn) to come up with more.

The neural network’s names sound, um… they don’t sound like modern apple varieties. In fact, they sound a lot like they should be riding horses and waving broadswords.

Lady Bold
Little Nonsy
Red The Braw
Lady Fallstone
Baldy the Pearmain
Red Tomm of Bonesey
Lady Of the Light
Kentic The Steeler
Warrior Golden Pippin Of Bellandfust

The reason, of course, is that most of the dataset is made of pre-1905 apple varieties, and those don’t follow your silly modern naming conventions, all Honey- this and Sweet- that. The Apples of New York lists varieties such as Pig Snout, Peasgood’s Nonesuch, Cornish Gilliflower, Mason’s Improved, Pine Stump, Dark Baldivin, Duck’s Bill, and Greasy Pippin.

Still, even by “Peasgood’s Nonesuch” standards, some of the neural net names are strange.

Camfer’s Braeburg Yerky
Severe Pea
Golden Red Red
Sten’s Ooter
Queen Screepser
Steep’s Red Balober
Kulter of Death Orga
Starley’s Non Pippe
Black Rollow
Galler’s Baldwilling
Bellewan’s Seedline
Evil Red Janet
Svand’s Sheepser
Lady Basters
Winey De Wine
Gala Wowgwarps Luber Reineautillenova

And there were apple names that were worse. Apples to definitely avoid. Perhaps part of the problem was that my neural net had previously been trained on metal bands.

Fall Of Apple
Ruin Red Sweet 81
English Death Galebury
Knington Pooper
Double Non
Winter Red Spite
White Wolves
Worsen Red
Failing Puster

And actually okay to get these last few I maaaay have thrown in a bit more training on metal bands:

Dark the Pippin of Merdill
Descend The Fujion Seedling
Beyond pell of Pippin
Spirite Hell Desert Belle
King Golden Steel
Ancient Bearing Rock

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