This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, large, three inches wide, by two and a quarter high; roundish, and slightly angular. Skin, yellow, streaked with red on the shaded side, but entirely covered with clear dark red, and striped with still darker red, on the side exposed to the sun. Eye, small and closed, set in a narrow and plaited basin. Stalk, long and slender, inserted in a wide and deep cavity, which is lined with russet. Flesh, yellowish, tender, sweet, juicy, and well flavoured, abounding in a sweet and pleasant juice.
A culinary apple, well adapted for sauce; it is in use from October to Christmas.
This is an old Devonshire apple, and no doubt the Sweet Howling referred to in a communication to one of Bradley's "Monthly Treatises," from which the following is an extract : "We have an apple in this country called a Rawling, of which there is a sweet and a sour; the sour when ripe (which is very early) is a very fair large fruit, and of a pleasant taste, inclined to a golden colour, full of narrow red streaks; the Sweet Rawling has the same colours but not quite so large, and if boiled grows hard, whereas the sour becomes soft. Now what I have to inform you of is, viz.: I have a tree which bears both sorts in one apple; one side of the apple is altogether sweet, the other side sour; one side bigger than the other; and when boiled the one side is soft, the other hard, as all sweet and sour apples are."
Fruit, small, two inches to two and a half wide, and two inches high; roundish ovate, inclining to oblate, even and regular in its outline. Skin, smooth and shining, entirely covered with very dark crimson, almost approaching mahogany, but paler on the shaded side, the whole mottled with broken bright yellow streaks; round the stalk it is greenish and russety. Eye, set in a pretty deep and somewhat angular basin; segments, broad and convergent, erect. Stamens, median; tube, short, funnel-shaped. Stalk, short and slender, set the whole of its length in a round and deep cavity. Flesh, yellowish, very tender and juicy, with a pleasant flavour, which makes it acceptable as a dessert fruit, the texture being equal in delicacy to that of an imported Newtown Pippin. Cells, roundish obovate; axile. A celebrated Herefordshire cider apple.
There are various opinions respecting the derivation of this word. At first sight it appears to have a French origin, and supposing it to be so, some have translated it Little Queen, though there is no such definition in any French dictionary I have consulted. Others say it is derived from Rainette, a kind of frog, because Reinettes are always, or ought to be, spotted with russet freckles, like the belly of the frog.
Thomas Fuller, the eminent historian and divine, says, "When a pepin is planted (i.e., grafted) on a pepin stock, the fruit growing thence is called a Renate." This, I think, is the origin of the word, Reinette being derived from Renatus - renewed or reproduced. A Reinette is therefore a grafted apple, and a Pippin is a seedling. See Pippin.
Reinette Baumann. See Baumann's Reinette.