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Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Posted by scottfsmith 6B/7A MD (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 16, 08 at 16:26

Following up on Glenn's recent post about taste tests, I propose we do one of the exercises common in the tomato groups: everyone name your top 10 tasting apple varieties by following up here. In a week or so when there are enough votes, someone can rank varieties by how many top-10 votes they get. This exercise does not take into account different climates, ease or difficulty of growing, early vs late, what varieties people may or may not have tried, etc, so it is best to view it as some fun with a bit of information attached.

Without further ado, here is my top-10 tasting apple varieties of the moment, in no particular order:

Wickson - tastes like a peach/apple cross
Gold Rush - unique hard texture and anise flavor
Kidds Orange Red - a sweeter and more aromatic Gala
Fuji - honey apple par extraordinaire if grown well
Hawaii - improved Golden Delicious
Hewes Crab - very richly flavored if a little too mealy when ripe
White Winter Pearmain - this apple has a very pleasant aromatic flavor somewhere in the Mutsu/Golden Delicious realm
Fameuse - a more delicately-flavored version of McIntosh
Ashmead's Kernel - nutty flavor in skin is wonderful
Egremont Russet - loads of flavor along with good sweet/sour balance, great texture and beautiful eye candy.

My rankings are primarily based on my own orchard fruits. I find store- or market-bought Fujis to be nothing special so it would not make my top-10 based on that. Also I have many varieties which have not fruited yet or not fruited often enough which I am sure will bump out some of the above.

Scott


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Sounds great Scott! Thanks! I'd like to contribute, but most of my apples are still young. For the most part, only my Granny Smith and Red Delicious (for the wife) have actually produced prior to this year. For what it's worth, I've always loved my Granny Smith even before I was growing, and it tastes even better when I get them off my tree now. I think it would always make my top 10. So, although it's quite common in stores, etc, I think I'm only qualified to list that 1 variety in my very short list. (I certainly would not add RD). :-) Your list is much more interesting and helpful. Looking forward to seeing people's lists!

Without further ado, here is my top-1 tasting apple variety of the moment, in no particular order:

Granny Smith - Large, firm, crisp and very juicy with a tart, sprightly taste.

(But, take it with a grain of salt, my exposure has been limited)
-Glenn


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

My vote goes to Goldrush. that said, I only tasted no more than 3 varieties of apples picked fresh from the tree.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

These are the best apples I've grown starting with the best first. Most of my experience with apples was in Amarillo Texas where I tried at least 80 old and new cultivars:

Pink Lady: Superb sweet/tart flavor, needs long season
Gala: Sweet/tart, best early apple
GoldRush: Sweet/tart, stores well
Jonalicious: Sweet/tart, best apple no one heard of(Stark)
Smoothee Golden Delicious: yes it can be very good
Fuji: Sweet, long keeper
Sekai Ichi: Sweet, mainly because it's so big
Melrose: large, state apple of Ohio

Prettiest apple I ever grew: Virginia Gold

Biggest: Some Stark Giant but Sekai Ichi much better

Real losers: Arkansas Black, Cox's Orange Pippin, Granny Smith, Mutsu, Northern Spy

Childhhod favorite: Whitney Crab

A few I'd like to try: SunCrisp, Pixie Crunch, CrimsonCrisp

The Fruitnut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

If this is primarily apples grown at home or nearby, my list is rather limited and has nothing exotic at all. I like all my apples about equally!! I have Jonerthon [yes], Jon-A-Red, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Gala, Winesap, and Red Delicious. Come January, my best tasting one is RD!! I must have a superior strain.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Just goes to show that some varieties that are good in some climates are terrible in others. Our taste test results so for for hot Southern California;

Rubinette
Wickson Crab
Arkansas Black
Fuji
Hawaii
Wealthy
Williams' Pride
Virginia Winesap
Terry Winter
Anna

The worst we grow; Northern Spy (which fruits heavily in 350 chill hours, by the way).

Applenut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I can't vouch for 10, but having grown up next door to an orchard (Close's Orchard in Westminster), having worked on an apple orchard in Michigan (Schwallier Brothers), I have a few I truly love.

Paula Red- right off the tree, in Michigan, this was the best tasting apple I've ever eaten bar none. Sweet and tart, great texture, wonderful color and aroma, just perfect. They don't travel well, which is a shame since not many get to taste these at their peak flavor.

Golden Delicious- we had two of these at my house growing up, and more in the orchard next to us. When tree-ripened they are a wonderful apple. Very, very sweet with almost a honey taste and a great texture. They also store very well and resist turning brown when cut so they are perfect for dehydrating.

Fuji- agree with the above comments. This is a great, great apple. If I plant another tree it will probably be a Fuji.

Winesap- Close's had many of these, and I would make myself sick eating these by the bucketful.

Spitter apples- for me, Red Delicious tops the list with Lodi a close second. Why anyone would pay money for these apples is beyond me.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Here are the Dave Wilson taste testing results that Scott mentioned in the other posting. These results are nice because they come from a large number of people, over many years. But, some people here on the forum have questioned the Cameo making the list.

7.2 Red Fuji (BC2) (11-16-01)
7.0 Spitzenberg (11-20-98)
6.8 Pink Lady (11-23-04)
6.8 Honey Crisp (11-17-00)
6.7 Empire (9-13-96)
6.7 Yellow Newtown Pippin (11-20-98)
6.7 Cameo (11-9-02)
6.6 Sundowner (11-16-01)
6.6 Ashmeads Kernel (11-19-99)
6.6 Gala (8-16-96)
6.6 Honey Crisp (9-4-04)
6.5 Golden Russet (11-20-98)

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Wilson Taste Test results Page


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RE: The Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Here are the Monticello Apple Taste Test results that Austransplant mentioned in the other posting. Again, many years, many people. Good info:

2007: 1. Albemarle Pippin #2, 2. Roxbury Russet 3. Pomme Gris 4. Esopus Spitzenburg 5) Albemarle Pippin #1 6. Baldwin 7. Golden Russet
2006: 1. Albemarle Pippin, 2. Father Abraham, 3. Virginia Gold, 4. Ashmeads Kernel, 5. Arkansas Black, 6. Calville Blanc, 7. Ralls Genet
2005: 1. Ashmeads Kernel, 2. Albemarle Pippin, 3. Gold Rush, 4. Esopus Spitzenburg, 5. Virginia Gold, 6. Stayman, 7. Ralls Genet
2004: 1. Albemarle Pippin, 2. Winesap, 3. Margil, 4. Ralls, 5. Ashmeads Kernel, 6. Pomme Gris, 7. Roxbury Russet
2003: 1. Albemarle Pippin #2, 2. Albemarle Pippin #1, 3. Virginia Gold, 4. Roxbury Russet, 5. Ralls Genet, 6. Calville Blanc, 7. Lady, 8. Winesap, 9. Esopus Spitzenburg
2002: 1. Ashmead's Kernel, 2. Stayman, 3. Albemarle Pippin #2, 4. Pomme Gris, 5. Esopus Spitzenburg, 6. Roxbury Russet, 7. Fuji
2001: 1. Albemarle Pippin #2, 2. Albemarle Pippin #1, 3. Ashmead's Kernel, 4. Roxbury Russet #2, 5. Pomme Gris, 6. Pomme Gris #2, 7. Calville Blanc, 8. Roxbury Russet #1.
2000: 1. Roxbury Russet, 2. Ashmead's Kernel, 3. Ribston Pippin, 4. Esopus Spitzenburg, 5. Albemarle Pippin, 6. Ralls Genet, 7. Golden Russet
1999: 1. Esopus Spitzenburg, 2. Grimes Golden, 3. Suncrisp, 4. Idared, 5. Calville Blanc and York, 7. Winesap and Shizuka
1998: 1. Esopus Spitenburg. 2. Roxbury Russet and Albemarle Pippin, 4. Gold Rush, 5. Kinsei, 6. Nittany, 7. Winesap
1997: 1. Suncrisp, 2. Spigold, 3. Fuji, 4. Shuizuka, 5. Spartan, 6. Stellar, 7. Albemarle Pippin
1996: 1. Cox's Orange, 2. Grimes Golden Pippin, 3. Esopus Spitzenburg, 4. Crispin, 5. Senshu, 6. Melrose, 7. Baldwin
1995: 1. Virginia Gold, 2. Swaar and Fuji, 4. Golden Russet, 5. Simerenko Reinette, 6. Esopus Spitzenburg, 7. Baldwin
1994: 1. Albemarle Pippin, 2. Rhode Island Greening, 3. Esopus Spitzenburg, 4. Swaar, 5. Golden Russet, 6. Ralls Genet, 7. Grimes Golden

Here is a link that might be useful: Monticello Apple Taste Test Results


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I have a few top apple lists from some well-known apple people which I can also add.

Tom Burford, Virginia (top 20):

American Beauty
Blue Pearmain
Coxs Orange Pippin
Esopus Spitzenburg
Grimes Golden
Holstein
Kidds Orange Red
Mother
Newtown Pippin
Pitmaston Pineapple
Ralls
Ribston Pippin
Smokehouse
Spartan
Summer Rambo
Virginia Beauty
White Winter Pearmain
Winesap
Yellow Bellflower
Zabergau Reinette

Ed Fackler, Indiana (ranked 1-20):

1. Sweet 16 - expensive bourbon with a shot of vanilla! Much easier to grow up north.
2. Spigold - Complex, intense and very juicy (difficult to grow because of its Spy habits).
3. Suncrisp - Intense "cox" flavor with more sugars.
4. Freyberg - Banana-like with a touch of overripe raspberry.
5. Hokuto - While subject to season (requires much sun late), it is a mix of Mutsu acids with Fuji sugars.
6. GoldRush - Battery acid off the tree---heavenly at Christmas and keeps through May if stored in plastic.
7. Braeburn - Murder to grow (sus. to every apple problem), but possesses enough complex acids to make it great.
8. Jonagold - For the new-to-the-game (of apple flavors), it is a very pleasing mix of dead-ripe Jonathan and sugars of Golden. Easy to eat.
9. Rubinette - A sweeter, milder (and juicier) version of Suncrisp, but ripens some 2 weeks earlier.
10. Newtown - (Not to eat prior to Jan. 1) At this time, it is simply great, many subtle complexities.
11. ArkCharm - Great for about 17.5 mins. off the tree (no storage). Rich and easy to eat.
12. Orin - Wonderful in some (hot) seasons, bland in others. A mild pineapple-like flavor in most years.
13. Shizuka - A sweeter and juicier version of Mutsu which ripens about 10 da. prior.
14. NovaSpy - Great complexity (which slight vanilla-bourbon) and easier to grow than most Spy sibs.
15. Sundowner - The highest flavored of the new "Austrailian" group which can only be grown near the equator (due to extremely late ripening)!
16. Honeycrisp - For those who equate flavor with its wonderful texture.
17. Fuji - See descrip. of Honeycrisp.
18. Hudson's Gold Gem - When properly picked, it compares to really great european pear (Collette, Magness, etc.). Difficult to grow due to shy production and fruit cracking.
19. Melrose - When starved for n., it is one of the finest tart apples I've eaten, otherwise not much.
20. Keepsake - Very shy, but flavor is great on the one apple you get every five years or so!

Tom Vorbeck: see applesource webpage.

Scott


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

wow- the Albemarle Pippin sure did well in the Monticello taste tests- has anyone on this forum tried it?

Fruit nut- i suspect your dissing of cox orange was more your opinion on their production rather than on their taste- as most people acknowledge, and certainly i include myself in the ranks, that it is one fine tasting apple (obviously, you need to have the right growing conditions- i.e. mimic english summers- cool and rainy).

my fave home grown apples are cox orange pippin, golden delicious, golden russet, breaburn. i have grafted an asmead kernal scion onto my golden russet so hope to be able to opine on asmead in the coming years.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

My own apple trees are young, newly planted, and not yet producing, so all my tasting has been from the grocery store or a roadside fruit stand. I admit these are not the best conditions. Given that, my favorite apple is Winesap or Stayman Winesap. I find them rarely. Of the apples that are easy to find I like Pink Lady best.

I also once tasted a funny looking, misshapen apple called a Mountaineer that I enjoyed, however I have never seen it again. I'd like to try it again and see if it lives up to memory.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

LL, Abermarle Pippin is the name some in the south still use for Newtown Pippin (aka Newtown). The two varieties were discovered to be the same a long time ago. I have had a few Newtown Pippins but I don't think I have ever had a properly aged one -- they all tasted too young to me.

Re: Cox, did you get good apples off of your tree? I have not heard one positive report from anyone in a hotter climate on the taste of their Cox. So my impression is it was more than productivity (there are also disease problems as well).

Rosefolly, Mountaineer tastes very similar to York Imperial. I don't recall if it is in fact the same variety or a sport; it is one of the two. Trees of Antiquity sells it. I saw them a few years ago in the stores here, but not recently.

Scott


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Albermarle Pippin is a variety much grown in central VA. I've tried these twice, both times at Vintage Virginia Apples near Charlottsville VA. The first time was in mid winter and I was not impressed, just a so-so apple. The next time was a year later at VVA's festival in mid November 2007. The Albermarle Pippins tasted great -- one of the best apples I've ever eaten with the perfect blend of tart and sweet. I then saw why so much is made of them. I suspect differences in the growing seasons made a huge difference to the flavor.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Scott:

This is the 3rd year in the ground for my cox. Last year, I got about 5-6 apples, most of which were mealy, but 1 or 2 were great. This year, i have about 7-8 apples. time will tell how they taste. Most of the locations in the US, NY and VA included, are too hot and humid during the summer for ideal cox growing conditions. I used to eat thousands of these apples when I lived in england (store bought) and they were delicious. far superior to the store apples i find in NY.

Ill try and graft a newton scion onto my apple tree next year.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

You know it is sorta like wine when it comes to the taste of apples. Fruitnut's losers are some of my top 10. I have had good luck with Newtown Pippin keeping, ate the last one in April this year. Grimes Golden may be my best all-round apple. If I could grow only one, that would be the one.

Here they are:

Cox Orange
Spitzenburg
Northern Spy
Asmead's Kernel
Grimes Golden
Winesap
Stayman Winesap
McIntosh
Granny Smith
Ark. Black


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

scott and glenn,

fantastic thread for ideas. hope everyone participates. we could use a thread like this for each variety of fruit.

my homegrown ( not of my own orchard) faves:

grimes golden
gravenstein
summer rambo
golden russet
gala
honeycrisp
cox orange pippin
jonagold
stayman winesap
holstein

i added the summer rambo as to my taste produces the best sauce. it's an early apple that if left to mature is very nice to eat out of hand if your into tart apples. pick a bit early and you'll pucker a bit.

grimes and gravenstein are are my fave eating out of hand with grimes on top. both are very versatile making great sauce,butter,pies, sweet cider, etc. grimes is recommended as a great hard cider apple but i cannot verify that from my own experience. alas the only problem i find with both are they are not "keepers".

my local nursery now has grimes at my suggestion and shall plant my 1st here this fall with probably 5 more following in the spring.

with luck next spring i shall learn how to graft. i have quite few old trees along with many "volunteers" that i can graft on. the volunteers in particular i don't mind screwing with and try new varieties. millers has quite a list of scion wood available and one could just go down the list with minimal costs involved to find out what works in his/her own orchard.

keep it rollin'
wildlifeman


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I posted a lengthy soapbox on how I think each apple has it's prime and they rarely overlap so a tasting is unfair. So I will name my favorite varieties.

My bias is towards well-balanced sweet and sour, cidery and fragrant apples. I am not a fan of Golden Delicious and all the other cardboard apples sold in stores. I have 150 different apple varieties, but many are still young grafts. Also, when picked at just the right time, I have yet to eat a backyard grown apple I don't like, so a lot of what makes it on my list is also stuff that just happens to produce for me already. Some varieties I have not quite figured out yet, such as "Pink princess", so far, too bland and often mealy, so I probably need to pick them earlier.

Here are my favorites:

1) "Berner Rosen", simply the most heavenly apple on the planet, I really think it belongs in the McIntosh family, but it's a chance seedling discovered in the woods in Central Switzerland in the 19th Century. It's still the all-time favorite over there. It's highly aromatic, sweet and tangy, just extraordinary.

2) "Pink Lady", hands down one of the best when at its prime, which out here in California when left on the tree all the way into mid January right at the end of leaf drop. It also stores incredibly well, and develops excellent flavor in amateur storage conditions.

3) "Granny Smith", no good as a table apple when picked green, but outrageously sweet and incredibly musky and flavorful when picked in early February as the fruits turn bright yellow in color. Yes, they need to stay on the tree at least into January to fully ripen, they are a truly subtropical apple needing a very long growing season. Very few people have tasted a truly ripe Granny Smith.

4) "Gala", yes, gala, this is a really good, tasty apple, fragrant and balanced, almost unbeatable when grown at home and picked at it's prime.

5) Gravenstein, I just love the fragrance of the Gravenstein, and the juice they make is soooooo good. A real treat this early in the year.

6) "Pink Pearl", great pink flesh color, awesome flavor but they need to stay on the tree long enough to reach peak sweetness and then they have to sit on the counter for another week or two to mellow before they are just right. Otherwise, they are too tannic. They don't tend to go mealy too fast either.

7) "Mutsu", a thousand times better than any Golden delicious apple, but I'd classify it in the "golden delicious-like" family like for example Hawaii. It's more tangy and complex and aromatic than Golden Delicious. My tree ripened mutsus don't stay in the fruit basket very long, they're gone within a very short time of coming into the house. Everyone in my house loves them. I've bought some at the farmer's market and was sorely disappointed, as they didn't taste nearly as good as what I got off my own tree.

8) Jonagold - excellent when grown at home, but I don't recommend this apple to be bought in stores, even the organic store bought Jonagold have no aroma whatsoever and taste pretty much like cardboard. But my backyard jonagolds are simply delicious.

9) "Hauer Pippin", a very late, January ripening apple that is far too tannic to eat in November or December, but it can also be picked early and stores all the way into April. It's delicious, sweet, cidery, and aromatic. I couldn't stop eating mine until they were all gone.

10) Spigold, a really awesome apple, quite late here, taking all the way to thanksgiving before they ripen for me. I've eaten it at tastings too and always liked it very much.



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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

  • Posted by myk1 5 IL (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 17, 08 at 21:48

I think this shows more that tastes are extremely subjective and the only way to know if you'll like an apple is to taste it for yourself.

I also have only had 3 apples fresh that I knew what they were and remember where and when it was. I just found a Yellow transparent I'll hopefully be tasting within the month.

McIntosh - has always been my favorite, this and Granny Smith are only store bought apple I'll consider buying. I'm getting another tree.
Cortland - McIntosh-like flavor, pluses (oxidation) and minuses (bugs) are not related to flavor.
Arkansas Black - I just wish I could get an apple in good enough condition to age it like when I first planted the tree. I like the taste fresh but not the texture. Hopefully starting to spray late this year will get me at least a few keepers.

Ones I remember liking but don't remember where or when I had them are Yellow Transparent and Granny Smith.
I'm either getting a YT or Lodi this fall and if I thought I could get GS to produce reliably I'd get that one too.
I don't remember them enough to place them in the list but I'm sure they both would go above the Black but again that's mainly because of texture and not flavor.


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Yellow transparent

My yellow transparent started to ripen. I find that this apple is delicious provided you eat it within a 1 day window when it's just right. I pick mine when they smell fragrant and then let them sit on the counter for a day to mellow them a bit. Then they have to be eaten right away otherwise they go mealy. When eaten at the right time, it's delicious, very fruity, sweet and lemony. It's really not very dense, so it goes mealy very quickly. It's by far the one apple with the absolute shortest shelf life I know of. But who cares if what you want are fresh apples.

I wonder if one could get a second, December ripening crop by stripping the leaves after the first harvest.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

This thread has my mind, and taste buds, reeling. I really like the opinions, even though I know so many things affect how an apple turns out - weather, water, fertility. I've been growing my orchard for nine years but have had very limited success because I was not able to put in the time it took to do it right. I got more serious in '06, but the crows got them ALL. Freeze in '07 got everything again, but this year everything has done very well and I've bagged 900 apples.

I swore off G. Delicious when I was a teen after eating the mealy things from the A&P, but the few I've had off the tree up here have been fabulous. Part of that is that I was excited to get ANYTHING to eat off my trees, but it was delightful. My Spitz has given me half a dozen in all that time and they are a HUGE hit with the few lucky souls that I have shared them with. And I've posted here about the lousy luck I've had with Cox up here in north Georgia. I have Mutsu, Fuji, and Arkansas Black but all are too young to bear so I can't really give a broad ranging opinion here, but after reading up on many varieties over the years, many of the one's listed here are on my short list. Thanks for the thread, Scott!

Herbert


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Tastes do vary, but apples of the same variety vary an awful lot as well. Unfortunately most of us cann't leave apples on the tree until January. Makes me think I need to try apples in my greenhouse again!!

Thanks for all the good ideas.

Axel sc: Can tell you know your apples and your taste seems similar to mine. Have you tried Sundowner? May try that in my greenhouse as it is said to be even longer season than Pink Lady and better flavored.

The Fruitnut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

This really has been a great thread. In the opening paragraph of this thread, Scott talked about ranking the varieties. This could be a little difficult to do considering the variety of data sets that are coming in. Heres what I was thinking:

+1 point for every recommendation from individuals.
+2 points from groups tastings. ( Im thinking the votes should count more than an individuals, but since a tasting only has a limited selection of varieties, it shouldnt count too much. In the case of something like Monticello, since there are varieties over 13 years, I think wed first have to calculate an overall top 7 from them, and then give each 2 pts... Or something like that.)
-0.5 For people who have dissed a variety.

But, I wouldnt want to do this until the activity has calmed down, so as not to skew someones opinion.

I might write it up as:

GardenWebs Fruit & Orchard Forums Apple Taste Test Results (as of 7/25/08)
Apple Variety X = 3.5 [ Jellyman(+1), Montecello tasting (+2), Scott (-1), Patapscomike (-.5) ]
Apple Variety Y = 2.0 [ Glenn (+1), Herbert (+1) ]

I suspect as soon as we do the ranking, well get another 3 postings.

Once again, to reiterate my stance, we all know that a number of things affect apple taste (weather, location, soil, etc. etc. etc.), but this is just one more bit of information (among many pieces of information) well be able to use when looking to plant a new variety. With nurserys saying that every apple is a best-tasting-apple, its hard to detmine the generally better tasting ones from the generally not-as-good tasting ones.

Hopefully I wont have hijacked this thread with a ranking subthread!
-Glenn


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Berner Rosen??

Alel sc or anyone else know where you could get Berner Rosen (Berne Rose) either a tree or budwood?

The Fruitnut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Hi Axel-

I think I agree with a lot of what you said. (Ill even stand on your soap box with you for most of it!) Agreed, soil, weather, micro-climate, growing season, etc, etc, etc. will all make a huge difference. And, just because variety X comes in highly ranked, I certainly wouldnt choose that variety on that ranking alone. Growing zone, growing subtleties, personal preference, disease resistance, other growers opinions, etc. etc. etc all come in to play. Its just one more piece of information, among many, to help distinguish the generally better tasting apples from the generally not-as-good tasting apples. Nurseries have embellished their descriptions to the point where its hard to decipher any taste information. Will my mileage on a particular variety vary? Of Course.

I will have to disagree with you when it comes to disease resistance. Should it be "the defining factor"? No. Should it be "a factor" in the decision, yes. After getting my butt kicked for years by CAR, scab, PM, flyspeck, sooty blotch, etc, sometimes you just get sick of fighting nature. Given a choice, if two apple varieties are of about the same quality, all other things being equal, Ill take the DR variety. No it doesnt have to be a blemish free apple, but, where I live, unchecked, CAR and scab will seriously hinder or even kill a tree. This is why I was psyched to see AppleNuts Williams Pride make his top 10 list. I was worried about WPs flavor because its such an early apple This makes recommendation makes me rest easier (by +1 point). I have also have friends who arent all that interesting in spending all their free time on their plants, but were still interested in an apple tree. DR trees are a way of getting decent apples without as much time spent spraying.

Thanks for all the other good info in your post. With all the talk, Im considering a Rhode Island Greening. (If I werent to devote an entire tree to it, it would certainly be one of the varieties Id graft on first) I like to stay will within my zone (6b), and Pink Lady is at the very edge of my zone. Granny Smith is supposed to be able to go down to zone 5, but I dont buy it. I can just barely do it here. For that reason, although everyone loves it, Ill probably have to pass on the PL. I probably would opt for another variety over the Cox Orange Pippin just because they are difficult to grow. I like trees that give me good results and are excited about life!

I do also plan to do a lot of grafting of other varieties onto my trees as you mention. But, I still would like a better tasting host tree to work with, if possible. Off to grafting class I go!

Thanks again for all your helpful advice, and for posting in the other thread too!

-Glenn


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Oh crap. I put the post in the wrong thread. Sorry. -G


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Glenn,

I have just eaten a William's Pride off my tree here in suburban Maryland near Washington DC. I am pleased with the flavor. I like crisp apples, and WP is crisp with some acidity and sweetness at the same time. Way better than most supermarket apples you can buy.

The tree (on M7) has grown vigorously and (touch wood) to this point has had absolutely no disease issues. We live near lots of red cedars, but no sign of cedar apple rust (my enterprise, another disease resistant apple, has only a very little of it). No sign of scab or fireblight, though my neighbor's pears a block away got seriously hit by fireblight. I think WP is a great tree for anyone who wants some good tasting apples in the summer and wants to minimize spraying.

Incidentally, I was using sandwhich bags on the fruit. The crop this year has not been large; it's the first year of fruit, and I've got about a dozen good sized apples. The main problem with the bags is that the bits you cut off to give some ventilation tend to stick together, especially when wet.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I should know more about the varieties i like, but have never written down what is what. Just across the river is a whole slew of apple orchards that grow a ton of different varieties. I know the king over there is the McIntosh (my favorite).

I'll have to go buy a bunch of different bags of apples and pic my favorites.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Williams Pride is a nice surprise for us. We get intense early heat, about 105F while it is blossoming. Despite this it sets every fruit in the cluster, and bore quite well the second year even on M111 rootstock. It seems to actually turn darker the hotter it is, the ones in the sun turning purple. It's tough to determine when they're fully ripe, as the color develops way before they're ready; wait until the stem end is red (but if you wait too long they get mushy).

They have a totally different character than our other early apples, being much more firm, crisp, and spicy; almost like a fall apple. They blow away anything we can get in the store. Lack of chill doesn't seem to bother them, and it is the apple I reccomend to farmers in the tropics of Africa who are trying to compete with Chinese imports.

Applenut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Fruitnut, yes, I think I will try to find sundowner, sounds like a good subtropical apple for around here. I can get you Berner Rosen wood this Winter. I grafted William's pride last Winter, it's still small, but I can't wait. I am looking for high quality Summer apples, because I believe they would do well here - our Summers have overnight lows that sometimes drop into the low 40's, perfect for flavoring up Summer apples.

I am also interested in Pricillia, anyone try this one?

Glenn, sorry, I may have overstated the disease resistance issue. A disease resistant apple is a better choice. What I meant to say is that I've been in many disease infested backyards where the diseases were not an issue for the end-user, the apples still had excellent flavor. I prefer a disease free garden, so I pamper my trees. But I am growing Cox orange pippin even though I've heard it's a nightmare because of it's susceptibility to disease.

Anyone had any experience with the Anise flavored apples like Ellison's Orange? I have an entire tree of Sierra Gold in the ground this year, has one apple on it, I hear it has a hint of aniseed. I can't wait to taste it.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Axel sc:

Thank you, I'd like to get wood of Berner Rosen this winter. Doubt I have any apples you don't have but could trade stonefruit. I'm also willing to pay. Have you ever heard of Delblush apple? Another European apple that was recommended to me by a longtime pomologist at Oregon State. Said it was his all time favorite.

Also, have you seen any effect of water regime on apple fruit quality? I have lately become very aware of a large effect of water on the quality of all my fruit but mainly stonefruit. Too much water reduces sweetness and flavor. A mild to moderate water stress really makes great, even spectacular stonefruit. I think the typical commercially grown stonefruit and apples are overwatered. But they need large size and pretty fruit. I much appreciate firm, sweet, flavorful fruit. It makes a huge difference on plums, pluots, and nectarines. Last yr my Gala were spectacular. They were also somewhat water stressed.

Haven't noticed you posting much before. Hope you will stay on board. I've learned a great deal here. We need highly knowlegeable fruit lovers like you!!!!

The Fruitnut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Over the past 15 years, I've had - at one time or another - over 60 varieties of apples grafted & growing(most on a combo M9/M111 rootstock), but this is the first year for a decent crop on all that are still in existence - probably 20 in all. Production has been so minimal that I can't really compile much of a list. Hopefully, there are enough fruits on the late-season ripeners that I'll actually get a chance to sample some of them - usually, the big European hornets eat them all up before they ever get anywhere close to ripening.
Of those that have cropped more than a couple of years(and that's a very small group), my list is, as follows:
Centennial Crab - this one keeps surprising people when I offer it to them - they hear 'crab' and think it's going to be a sour, astringent thing - NOT! My college-age son is home this week, and he's raving over its taste.
MonArk - a good apple in its own right, and fantastic for an early-season ripener.
Callaway crab - actually an ornamental crab, but it's a favorite for eating out-of-hand, by the pocketful, in my family.
Kerr Crab - while it's a half-sib to Centennial(both are Dolgo offspring), it's a little smaller, more tart, and has crisp white flesh, as opposed to Centennial's sweet yellow.

Lodi and Early Harvest both had good crops this year, and both go mealy very rapidly; Lodi at its peak is quite tart, and very much to my liking. Early Harvest, smaller, with a nice flavor - and less 'bite' than Lodi. Neither are likely to place, much less win, in a taste test, but those first apples of the season are a welcome treat.

Red-fleshed crabs typically don't make the grade here, but Almata has a nice crop this year, and they're fairly tasty, even though they're not fully ripe yet.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Heres the mentions so far above which got more than one vote. I let the experts count all 20 given all their experience, but forgot Toms since it was not on the page above. I didn't double count any from the Monticello tastings, I just counted any apple liked in the last 5 years as "1". If I counted all years separately those would dominate all the other information. And, I probably made several mistakes!

2 Gravenstein
2 Hawaii
2 Holstein
2 Kidd's Orange Red
2 Mcintosh
2 Melrose
2 Ralls Genet
2 Rubinette
2 Spigold
2 Stayman Winesap
2 Summer Rambo
2 Sundowner
2 White Winter Pearmain
2 Wickson Crab
3 Ashmead's Kernel
3 GoldRush
3 Granny Smith
3 Grimes Golden
3 Pink Lady
4 Arkansas Black
4 Cox Orange Pippin
4 Esopus Spitzenburg
4 Golden Delicious
4 Golden Russet
4 Honeycrisp
4 Jonagold
4 Newtown Pippin
5 Gala
6 Winesap
7 Fuji

I think more lists are needed before this means a lot, but maybe its a bit of a help to a starter.

Scott


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Fruitnut, no need to trade. I get all the wood I want from the local CRFG exchange, there are usually 600-800 varieties of apples available, I have room only for about 150, 200 if I do a lot of multi-grafts.

What I am looking for next year is:
- Ellison's orange (for the anise flavor)
- Perrine giant transparent (large fruited sport of yellow transparent, 3x in size)
- Pricillia (heard it's an outstanding early apple)
- Egremont Russet (Everyone raves about this one)
- Kidds Orange Red (I love gala, and it's even better)
- Beverly Hills (McIntosh-like from Socal)
- knobbed russet (Weird, gotta have it)

I am adding sundowner to my list, we'll see how it does here. I like to have apples on my trees until February.

Applenut, can you tell me which apples will set a second crop for you down there? I know Anna will, but have you tried defoliating any of the other early apples to see if they'll set again? My Edmund's pippin and Karmijin and hubbertson nonethesuch have decided to bloom again as of late July.

I have some thoughts on water stress. I water my trees only once a week. Water stress as a whole affects each fruit differently. I have some German apple literature that actually spells out which apples like it moist and which ones like it dry. I believe the apples with really dense flesh do better with extra water, whereas the ones with softer flesh like Gala do better with less water, otherwise they get too watery.

Similarely for plums, the European plums and mirabelles tend to be on the dry side, and if they don't get enough water they are no good. The Japanese plums, on the other hand, like for example Santa Rosa prefer drier conditions and will make sweeter fruit.

As a whole, a good organic foliar spray does the best for excellent flavor because it will add the right micro-nutrients to make for sweeter fruits. Lack of magnesium is often responsible for fruit that is not sweet enough - I get that a lot with my citrus.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

  • Posted by myk1 5 IL (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 19, 08 at 17:12

I don't know if the fruit is doing better but I know every time we get a good rain my Arkansas Black spreads noticeably, so the dense apples seem willing to soak up the extra water quickly.
Are you thinking it makes them taste better, softens them up or just adds to the juice they hold?


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

All the fruit where I've been able to tell a difference are sweeter, firmer and more flavorful with moderate water stress. Axel sc is saying it can depend on variety. But I believe he is talking mainly apples and I'm talking mainly stonefruit.

My plums and pluots this yr are bigger than normal because I over watered for about three weeks during the final swell stage. My plums on trees in pots, same variety same rootstock, are 1/2 to 2/3 the size but much firmer and sweeter. I much prefer the firmer sweeter fruit.

I've read that some of the best stonefruit in CA comes from dryland orchards in coastal valleys. These would be old slow growing trees with a deep root system that get little rain after fruit set. I tend to believe these reports. You need a drought tolerant rootstock for such a system. Not the Citation I have. But I'm always looking for a better mouse trap.

The Fruitnut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

all,

on an earlier post on this thread i referred to millers in reference to scion wood.

was thinking of this thread when making my fruit tree rounds when i realized my mistake. maple valley orchards was the source i was referring to regarding scion wood.

please accept my apologies for any and all consternation this may have caused my fellow garden webbers,millers or maple valley orchards.

maybe it's the excitement of learning to graft or just plain the variety of scions available that contributed to my new apple variety fever. smiles !

regards,
wildlifeman


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Fascinating thread. I have a question to those of you who have tasted all the various 'Pippins'. I'm craving Cox's Orange Pippin, having grown up with them in England, but I'm told that here in SW Virginia it's too hot for them and fireblight is a problem. Some of you also say you have had problems with it. Does the Newtown Pippin actually taste like a Cox? One of you mentioned Suncrisp to get that 'cox' flavor. Would that grow in SW VA? Do they need another variety as a pollinator? I have four other apple trees but don't know what they are. Two of them may be some kind of Jonathon cross. I would have submitted them as a 'favorite' if only I knew what they were! Coxes and Russets are certainly at the top of my list.

Virginia in Virginia


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Virginia:

Cann't tell you anything about the Pippins but did read an interesting article about Suncrisp that has me wanting to try one. Article was in July 2008 Good Fruit Grower. It is supposed to combine the best of Cox Orange and Gold Del. Matures in Oct in Ohio, blooms very late, so escapes late freezes. Stores well but is very susceptible to fireblight. I've never had fireblight on anything in TX so that doesn't scare me. It's avaliable from Adams County Nursery. So it's supposed to be a great apple that will never be widely grown because of fb and mediocere appearance, just my kind of apple.

The Fruitnut


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Sounds good. I checked Vintage Virginia Apples, an orchard near Charlottesville, VA, and they have Suncrisp as well as the Cox. They also have some tastings coming up in Sept and Oct so I think I'll go to those and let my taste buds make the decision. I am also intrigued by the idea of multiple grafting so I don't have to tend so many trees, but that may be a kindergartner wanting to go straight to college.

Virginia in Virginia


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Favorites not from my own orchard, but the neighboring orchard

1- Honeycrisp
2- haralson
3- winesap
4- cortland
5- there's another I just can't remember the name of at the moment - i think it's either fireside or connel


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How about the best Summer apples?

It's August now and I've had a chance to sample a few Summer apples. Anyone have a list of favorites? So far, I've sampled the following:

- Gravenstein, by far the most flavorful and aromatic of all of the Summer apples. It's really tasty, and one of the most interesting than all of the Summer apples with all of the smells and aromas. It's a very complex flavor, and I love the uneven shape with the greasy skin. That's the way an apple should be. Too bad it doesn't store so well, there's a rather short window of time when the apple turns from being too sour to just perfect before it goes mealy.

- Pristine (PRI's 'Co-op 32'): Excellent flavor and texture, has very nice aromas after it's had a chance to sit on the counter for a week or two and doesn't go mealy. Here in Santa Cruz it's a yellow apple with a very nice red flush. It easily rivals some of the Winter apples when it comes to both flavor, texture and storage qualities. It's got that real apple flavor.

- Sunrise: this one is so so, reminds me a bit of store bought cameos when picked a little early, but they do go mushy more quickly and they lack any aroma whatsoever. They have the stripes that make them look like a Gravenstein, but they are rounder and better shaped than the gravensteins. It's not one I would want to grow.

- Yellow transparent: Excellent if picked just right and left on the counter for just a day so it's not mealy, but sweet enough to eat. Then it's like a cross in between a meadow and a lemon tree. But the time window to eat it in between being too astringent and too mealy is so short that it makes me wonder why I grow it, we're talking hours here. So perhaps I might keep a branch or two but grow some other Summer apples on the same tree. The new early strain of "Anna" comes in well before Yellow transparent and is probably better tasting.

Anybody else have any good recommendations?


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I have not tasted the majority listed but a few that I am growing and like a lot are hawaii, winesap, summer banana, red june, and cinnamon spice. Red june though small is one of the prettiest apples I have ever seen.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Axel, it is still a bit early for my early apples but I am starting to get a few good ones now.

Gravenstein - also very good here but I am still working on finding the optimal picking and eating times.

Golden Nugget - this is a wonderful apple which comes quite early for me; it is considered an early fall and not summer apple however. It is a Cox x Golden Delicious. It has dense flesh with a lot of flavor and is a very attractive russet as well (the russet is sometimes not covering the whole apple). It doesn't go mealy so fast.

Jefferis - this is a very pleasant early apple, with a unique aromatic flavor. Hard to find the picking window.

Lucky is a big fan of MonArk for its earliness and long eating window and I have a tree, but it has become the deer's favorite and they are keeping it only a couple feet tall here.

Signe Tillisch and Croncels are a couple other early apples I am growing. I think they are best as cooking apples.

Scott


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Hi All-
My numbers look very similar to Scotts, but I did calculate them slightly differently. As I mentioned above, I counted taste test results (using multiple people) as +2 instead of +1. I also subtracted -0.5 for people dissing an apple. In the case of the Monticello Apple Taste Test, the top 10 performers over the years were each given 2 points.
Sometimes it was hard to tell if someone was voting for an apple, or just talking about it, so sorry if I didnt count your vote/discussion correctly. I also kept peoples names, growing zones, and comments with the apples so as to help people considering a certain variety. Since Ive only been growing apples for 3 years now, Im not familiar with some of the varieties some people called the apples by slightly different names. Hopefully I combined all the votes correctly. Like Scott, this took a while to add up, so there likely are a couple mistakes in the list. Sorted 1st by rating, 2nd by alphabetical. Disclaimer: Once again, there are many other things besides this list to consider when growing an apple (location, soil, disease resistance, etc. etc. etc), this is just one more piece of information that can be used. Sorry for any mistakes. Thank you for everyones participation!!!
-Glenn

Esopus Spiztenberg (7)
+2 Finshed 2nd in Dave Wilson taste test results 7.0 (11-20-98)
+2 Appeared 2nd most often (10 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 dethride 7a / 6b GA

Winesap (7)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+2 Appeared 4th most often (6 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Rosefolly, 9-sunset 16
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 Kandituf 5

Ashmead's Kernel (6)
+ 1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD - nutty flavor in skin is wonderful
+ 2 Finished 9th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.6 (11-19-99)
+ 2 Appeared 4th most often (6 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Hoseman, 7a

Gala: (6)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX- Sweet/tart, best early apple
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
+1 axel_sc z9b - yes, gala, this is a really good, tasty apple, fragrant and balanced, almost unbeatable when grown at home and picked at it's prime.
+2 Finished 10th in Dave Wilson taste test results 6.6 Gala (8-16-96)

Fuji (6)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD- honey apple par extraordinaire if grown well
+1 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX- Sweet, long keeper
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
+2 Finished 1st in Dave Wilson taste test results 7.2 BC2 11-16-01 and also 6.6 (8-16-96)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - See descrip. of Honeycrisp.

Honey Crisp (5)
+2 Finished 4th and 11th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.8 (11-17-00) and also 6.6 (9-4-04)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - For those who equate flavor with its wonderful texture.
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
+1 Kandituf 5

Pink Lady: (5)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Superb sweet/tart flavor, needs long season
+2 Finsihed 3rd Dave Wilson taste test results 6.8 (11-23-04)
+1 Rosefolly, 9-sunset 16 I like this apple best.
+1 axel_sc z9b - hands down one of the best when at its prime, which out here in California when left on the tree all the way into mid January right at the end of leaf drop. It also stores incredibly well, and develops excellent flavor in amateur storage conditions.

Gold Rush (4)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD -unique hard texture and anise flavor
+1 Phase0001 - that said, I only tasted no more than 3 varieties of apples picked fresh from the tree.
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Sweet/tart, stores well
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Battery acid off the tree---heavenly at Christmas and keeps through May if stored in plastic.

Jonagold (4)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - For the new-to-the-game (of apple flavors), it is a very pleasing mix of dead-ripe Jonathan and sugars of Golden. Easy to eat.
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
+1 axel_sc z9b - excellent when grown at home, but I don't recommend this apple to be bought in stores, even the organic store bought Jonagold have no aroma whatsoever and taste pretty much like cardboard. But my backyard jonagolds are simply delicious.

Golden Delicious (3.5)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
-0.5 axel_sc z9b not a fan
+1 dethride 7a / 6b GA

Granny Smith (3.5)
+1 Glenn Russell - Large, firm, crisp and very juicy with a tart, sprightly taste. But, my exposure is limited.
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 axel_sc z9b - no good as a table apple when picked green, but outrageously sweet and incredibly musky and flavorful when picked in early February as the fruits turn bright yellow in color. Yes, they need to stay on the tree at least into January to fully ripen, they are a truly subtropical apple needing a very long growing season. Very few people have tasted a truly ripe Granny Smith.
+1 myk1 5 IL

Cox's Orange Pippin (3)
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington
-0.5 dethride 7a / 6b GA

Ralls Genet (3)
+2 Appeared 4th most often (6 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Golden Russet (3)
+2 Finished 12th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.5 (11-20-98)
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7

Grimes Golden (3)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington favorite eating out of hand. very versatile making great sauce,butter,pies. Recommended for cider.

McIntosh (3)
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 myk1 5 IL - has always been my favorite, this and Granny Smith are only store bought apple I'll consider buying. I'm getting another tree.
+1 FrankTank232 Z5 WI McIntosh is my favorite

Newton Pippen (3)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - (Not to eat prior to Jan. 1) At this time, it is simply great, many subtle complexities.
+2 Finished 6th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.7 (11-20-98)

Stayman Winesap (3)
+1 Rosefolly, 9-sunset 16
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington

Sundowner (3)
+2 Finished 8th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.6 (11-16-01)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - The highest flavored of the new "Austrailian" group which can only be grown near the equator (due to extremely late ripening)!

Arkansas Black (2.5)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
-0.5 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 Hoseman, 7a
+1 myk1 5 IL - I just wish I could get an apple in good enough condition to age it like when I first planted the tree. I like the taste fresh but not the texture. Hopefully starting to spray late this year will get me at least a few keepers.

Albemarle Pippin (2)
+2 Appeared most often (14 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Baldwin (2)
+2 Appeared (tied) 6th most often (4 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Braeburn (2)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Murder to grow (sus. to every apple problem), but possesses enough complex acids to make it great.
+1 Lycheeluva, Zone 6/7

Cameo (2)
+2 Finished 7th Dave Wilson taste test results 6.7 (11-9-02) (though others on the forum were surprised with this)

Cortland (2)
+1 myk1 5 IL McIntosh-like flavor, pluses (oxidation) and minuses (bugs) are not related to flavor.
+1 Kandituf 5

Calville Blanc (2)
+2 Appeared (tied) 6th most often (4 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Empire (2)
+2 Finsihed 5th in the Dave Wilson taste test results 6.7 (9-13-96)

Gravenstein (2)
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington 2nd favorite eating out of hand. very versatile making great sauce,butter,pies
+1 axel_sc z9b - I just love the fragrance of the Gravenstein, and the juice they make is soooooo good. A real treat this early in the year. by far the most flavorful and aromatic of all of the Summer apples. It's really tasty, and one of the most interesting than all of the Summer apples with all of the smells and aromas. It's a very complex flavor, and I love the uneven shape with the greasy skin. That's the way an apple should be. Too bad it doesn't store so well, there's a rather short window of time when the apple turns from being too sour to just perfect before it goes mealy. Scottfsmith - 7A MD - also very good here but I am still working on finding the optimal picking and eating times.

Hawaii (2)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD improved Golden Delicious
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Holstein (2)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. washington

Kidds Orange Red (2)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD - a sweeter and more aromatic Gala
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Melrose: (2)
+1 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX- large, state apple of Ohio
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - When starved for n., it is one of the finest tart apples I've eaten, otherwise not much.

Pomme Gris (2)
+2 Appeared 5th most often (5 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Roxbury Russet (2)
+2 Appeared 3rd most often (8 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07

Rubinette (2)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - A sweeter, milder (and juicier) version of Suncrisp, but ripens some 2 weeks earlier.

Spigold (2)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Complex, intense and very juicy (difficult to grow because of its Spy habits).
+1 axel_sc z9b - a really awesome apple, quite late here, taking all the way to thanksgiving before they ripen for me. I've eaten it at tastings too and always liked it very much.

Summer Rambo (2)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
+1 wildlifeman - n.e. Washington the for best sauce. it's an early apple that if left to mature is very nice to eat out of hand if your into tart apples. pick a bit early and you'll pucker a bit.

White Winter Pearmain (2)
+1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD- this apple has a very pleasant aromatic flavor somewhere in the Mutsu/Golden Delicious realm
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
Virginia Gold (2)
+2 Appeared (tied) 6th most often (4 times) in yearly Monticello Apple Taste Tests 94-07
Wickson (2)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD tastes like a peach/apple cross
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Williams' Pride (2)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
+1 Austransplant MD 7 - I have just eaten a William's Pride off my tree here in suburban Maryland near Washington DC. I am pleased with the flavor. I like crisp apples, and WP is crisp with some acidity and sweetness at the same time. Way better than most supermarket apples you can buy. I think WP is a great tree for anyone who wants some good tasting apples in the summer and wants to minimize spraying.

Yellow Transparent (2)
+1 myk1 5 IL
+1 axel_sc z9b - Excellent if picked just right and left on the counter for just a day so it's not mealy, but sweet enough to eat. Then it's like a cross in between a meadow and a lemon tree. But the time window to eat it in between being too astringent and too mealy is so short that it makes me wonder why I grow it, we're talking hours here. So perhaps I might keep a branch or two but grow some other Summer apples on the same tree. The new early strain of "Anna" comes in well before Yellow transparent and is probably better tasting.

American Beauty (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Anna (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

ArkCharm (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Great for about 17.5 mins. off the tree (no storage). Rich and easy to eat.

Berner Rosen (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - simply the most heavenly apple on the planet, I really think it belongs in the McIntosh family, but it's a chance seedling discovered in the woods in Central Switzerland in the 19th Century. It's still the all-time favorite over there. It's highly aromatic, sweet and tangy, just extraordinary.

Blue Pearmain (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Callaway crab (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY - actually an ornamental crab, but it's a favorite for eating out-of-hand, by the pocketful, in my family.

Centenial Crab (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY - this one keeps surprising people when I offer it to them - they hear 'crab' and think it's going to be a sour, astringent thing - NOT! My college-age son is home this week, and he's raving over its taste.

Egremont Russet (1)
+1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD - loads of flavor along with good sweet/sour balance, great texture and beautiful eye candy.

Fameuse (1)
+1 Scott Smith 6B/7A MD - a more delicately-flavored version of McIntosh
Freyberg (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Banana-like with a touch of overripe raspberry.

Golden Nugget (1)
+1 Scottfsmith 6B, 7A MD - this is a wonderful apple which comes quite early for me; it is considered an early fall and not summer apple however. It is a Cox x Golden Delicious. It has dense flesh with a lot of flavor and is a very attractive russet as well (the russet is sometimes not covering the whole apple). It doesn't go mealy so fast.

Harlason (1)
+1 Kandituf 5

Hauer Pippin (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - a very late, January ripening apple that is far too tannic to eat in November or December, but it can also be picked early and stores all the way into April. It's delicious, sweet, cidery, and aromatic. I couldn't stop eating mine until they were all gone.

Hokuto (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - While subject to season (requires much sun late), it is a mix of Mutsu acids with Fuji sugars.

Hewes Crab (1)
+1 Scott Smith - 6B/7A MD - very richly flavored if a little too mealy when ripe

Hudson's Gold Gem
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - When properly picked, it compares to really great european pear (Collette, Magness, etc.). Difficult to grow due to shy production and fruit cracking.

Jefferis (1)
+1 Scottfsmith 6B, 7A MD - this is a very pleasant early apple, with a unique aromatic flavor. Hard to find the picking window.

Jonalicious (1)
+1 Fruitnut -z7,4500ft SW TX- Sweet/tart, best apple no one heard of(Stark)

Jon-A-Red (1)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.

Jonerthon (1)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally.

Keepsake (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Very shy, but flavor is great on the one apple you get every five years or so!

Kerr Crab (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY while it's a half-sib to Centennial(both are Dolgo offspring), it's a little smaller, more tart, and has crisp white flesh, as opposed to Centennial's sweet yellow.

Monark (1)
+1 Lucky_p Z6 W. KY - a good apple in its own right, and fantastic for an early-season ripener.

Mother: (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

NovaSpy (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Great complexity (which slight vanilla-bourbon) and easier to grow than most Spy sibs.

Orin (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Wonderful in some (hot) seasons, bland in others. A mild pineapple-like flavor in most years.

Pink Perl (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - great pink flesh color, awesome flavor but they need to stay on the tree long enough to reach peak sweetness and then they have to sit on the counter for another week or two to mellow before they are just right. Otherwise, they are too tannic. They don't tend to go mealy too fast either.

Pitmaston Pineapple (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Pristine (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - (PRI's 'Co-op 32'): Excellent flavor and texture, has very nice aromas after it's had a chance to sit on the counter for a week or two and doesn't go mealy. Here in Santa Cruz it's a yellow apple with a very nice red flush. It easily rivals some of the Winter apples when it comes to both flavor, texture and storage qualities. It's got that real apple flavor.

Red Delicious (1)
+1 Wayne_5 - my list is not exotic and limited, but I like all my apples equally. Come January, my best tasting one is RD!!

Ribston Pippin (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Sekai Ichi (1)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Sweet, mainly because it's so big

Shizuka (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - A sweeter and juicier version of Mutsu which ripens about 10 da. prior.

Smoothee Golden Delicious (1)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX - yes it can be very good

Smokehouse (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Spartan (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Suncrisp (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - Intense "cox" flavor with more sugars.

Sunrise (1)
+1 axel_sc z9b - this one is so so, reminds me a bit of store bought cameos when picked a little early, but they do go mushy more quickly and they lack any aroma whatsoever. They have the stripes that make them look like a Gravenstein, but they are rounder and better shaped than the gravensteins. It's not one I would want to grow.

Sweet 16 (1)
+1 Ed Fackler, Indiana - expensive bourbon with a shot of vanilla! Much easier to grow up north.

Terry Winter (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Virginia Beauty (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia
Virginia Gold (1)
+1 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX - Prettiest apple I ever grew:
Virginia Winesap (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a
Wealthy (1)
+1 Applenut - So Calif. 10a

Whitney Crab (1)
+1 Fruitnut z7,4500ft SW TX - Childhood Favorite

Yellow Bellflower (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Zabergau Reinette (1)
+1 Tom Burford, Virginia

Matsu (0.5)
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
+1 axel_sc z9b - a thousand times better than any Golden delicious apple, but I'd classify it in the "golden delicious-like" family like for example Hawaii. It's more tangy and complex and aromatic than Golden Delicious. My tree ripened mutsus don't stay in the fruit basket very long, they're gone within a very short time of coming into the house. Everyone in my house loves them. I've bought some at the farmer's market and was sorely disappointed, as they didn't taste nearly as good as what I got off my own tree.

Pink princess: (-0.5)
-0.5 axel_sc z9b - so far, too bland and often mealy, so I probably need to pick them earlier.

Northern Spy (0)
-0.5 Fruitnut - z7,4500ft SW TX -Real loser
-0.5 Applenut - So Calif. 10a - The worst we grow
+1 Hoseman, 7a


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I first tasted a Grimes Golden when I was about eleven years old. It is the most wonderful apple I have ever tasted! The ones that I ate were in the early 1960s on a farm in northern Ohio. The trees were old, and the fruits were deep golden, and heavily russeted. The flavor was sweet and spicy, and the flesh was crisp. I have never had them since, but have never forgotten them!


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I missed this thread because I pretty much swear off the internet chat during the growing season, but it's the most popular thread here I've seen. We all like debating and talking about the apples we love.

I'm surprised no one listed Ginger Gold as a great early apple. It is a very useful variety if you happen to enjoy apples early on- Until Oct, I tend to gravitate to my plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries and all the fruit I can't get during most of the year when apples are all I have. But Ginger Gold is the best apple here in its season that I've tasted. Starts as a tart, is unusual in that it is not at all chalky when the seeds are still quite immature. It sweetens as it ripens and develops an attractive red blush over yellow. So it's an apple that can be eaten both as a tart and a sweet and because of this has a very long harvest of over a month here.

In defense of Yellow Delicious, it is amazingly unattractive to plum curculio here and I have a site I manage that recieves no spray and YD bears most every year quite usable fruit. There are many other varieties on the site, including Baldwin, Mac, RI Greening which don't bear without spray.

But all Yellow Delicious are not the same. The trees on this site are about 100 years old so these are the old strain YD that tend to russet and taste much better than newer strains in my opinion. On the same site some newer strain YD have been planted and they are crap, yet curculio likes them fine.

For Alex and anyone else that lives in a 12 month apple growing season, your perspective is completely different. Most of the apples I eat have to store well. Fine apples like Grimes Golden are unimportant to me because there is so much other fruit to eat in its season. Very few antiques hold up as well as the likes of Goldrush, Pink Lady (which actually can be grown in NY state as an excellent tart), Fuji and even Jonagold and Brabern if picked a tad green.

I'd like to see apple taste tests done in Feb.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Axel__sc:

Did you mean the apple PRISCILLA instead of Pricillia? I can't find any info on that one.

Carla in Sac


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

I like Suntan... a British Cox's Orange hybrid.
McIntosh is hard to beat in its season, but the fruit bruises so easily it has lost its market share.
Hudson Golden Gem tastes more like Pear than Apple, but is a great fall apple and fair keeper too.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

'Irish Pitcher' is the best all-around late season apple hands down. Not only is it terrific as a food (cider, eatting, cooking), but you can root it's cuttings, it ships well, doesn't bruise, and it isn't suceptible to really any diseases, or pests, well into old age (in my experience).


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

What is Irish Pitcher- can't find it in "Apples of NY" or in my old copy of F,B and N Inventory.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Found Irish Pitcher in the Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, p. 265 under the head of Mank's Codlin (you can download this book from Google books). It is described as an old English culinary apple long cultivated in the US for productiveness, hardiness and early bearing habit. A search on the web reveals that it is called 'pitcher' because it can be rooted from cuttings, as jimz mentioned.

Isn't the web great!


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Irish Pitcher, AKA: Manx Codlin

http://www.brogdale.org.uk/image1.php?varietyid=841

http://library.wur.nl/speccol/fruithof/dnb1/BgCdEng/Tekst_Pl/Tekst038.htm

Is this where "Codling Moth" got it's name??


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Beech lists it as Winter St. Lawrence but had no experience with the apple. Seems it was grown mostly in Canada as it was originally brought to St. Lawrence from England.

Jimz where are you? What other apples do you like to go with this rare one? Can you name something more common so I can gage your taste buds?


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Here's my list of best apples to grow for taste and vigor of tree. (I grow these organically.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Best tasting/growing trees in my orchard


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

nobody ever mentioned the discovery variety?
i have one of these trees and its lovely , it does not keep long so not popular with supermarkets but straight off the tree its great


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

This thread has proven helpful in choosing scion to graft. How long will scion last in fridge? Will it be viable next year? Maple valleys min shipping is 12.00 and I only have 2 "graftable" trees right now.


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RE: Best of the Best tasting apple varieties

Reviving this awesome apple thread. I was reading through what I posted and I am amused by how quickly things change. at least half of the apples I listed have fallen off my own list. I've grafted over most of my spigold because it's really not that good after all. Mutsu is also somewhat uninteresting these days.

Here is my new list of favorites:

- coconut crunch is extraordinary in our climate and keeps really well
- sinta, fruited for the first time last Fall, delicious strong pineapple flavor
- Fiesta, really good for a Summer apple
- Williams pride, my tastiest Summet apple after Viking
- Orin, great storage apple that still has that tropical pineapple flavor in March
- alkmene, yummy summer August apple that tastes lime a cox but even better
- kidds orange red, superb in the Fall
- Haralson, fruits well here in California and its good
- transparente de cronkels, delicious and high quality

I still love gravenstein, hauer pippin and granny smith off my old list.

I am curious what will stand out this year, as it surely won't be the same as last year.
-


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