One of the oldest apple variety from Transylvania is “Ponyik” apple. According to an anecdote, mentioned in some 1800s books, the apple was named after the place where a shepherd collected some apples. The priest who received a basket of these apples, decided to show them to some experts. They decided for the Romanian name “Poinic” from “Poiana Mica” (literally “lawn small” in English), small lawn in the forest from where the apples were taken.
There is a recent study on old Transylvanian apple variety names translation in English and in Romanian which states that the word “Ponyik” has no etymological connection with Romanian language. This apple variety seemed to be cultivated at least from 16th century and, according to denominational practices in use at the time, the name should be based on a proper noun. Furthermore, “Poiana” was borrowed and used in Hungarian language in the following forms “Polyáni”, “Poliani”, “Poján”, so it seems unusual that “Poiana Mica” became “Poinic”.
“Ponyik” apple is a round fruit with a yellow skin mostly covered of little dark red dots. Inside it has a white and yellowish colour, sometimes greenish, with little seeds. It tastes sweet and sour. The harvesting period is from November to February, until spring in cold areas.