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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best tasting home grown Apple varieties

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I tasted a home grown Red Delicious apple recently that had been in storage for a while, and even after being in storage a while, there was no comparison in flavor and texture to its grocery store counter part. I didn't know a Red Delicious could taste so good! Now I see why they call it delicious!

I also tasted some other lesser known varieties that were equally good and had very unique flavors.

What are some of the best tasting home grown apple varieties that you've tasted?

List your favorite and why, and I will add it to the list here, with the ones with the most votes at the top.

I will also update the characteristics of the variety based on the responses.

 Best Tasting Home Grown Apple Varieties based on the comments below...

Hudson's Golden Gem- 2 votes (need additional info)

William's Pride- summer ripening,
makes red applesauce, slight red flesh coloring under the skin

Arkansas Black- crisp, able to store for months if stored properly

Wickson Crabapple- very sweet with also high acidity

Ashmead's Kernel- tastes like sweets (pear drops), stores really well with great flavor even after a few months in storage, small lumpy green with russet on the outside but pretty on the inside

Newtown Pippin- (need additional info)

Karmijn de Sonnaville- (need additional info)

Northern Spy- (need additional info)

Winesap- (need additional info)

Holstein- (need additional info)
COMMENTS:
 
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William's pride is a favorite at our place. It's a summer apple so it doesn't last long off the tree and you have to pick it at the right time. But when you do hit the sweet spot it's glorious.

This year's crop was huge (after two frost years) and we made masses of raspberry + apple jam. Even when cooked on its own, the jam / jelly / sauce will still be red because the slight red coloring of the flesh directly under the shell has enough of an effect.

WP is quite resistant to scab, it may appear to some minor degree on the leaves only (the fruit was always blemish-free) but it was never really a problem for us.
 
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Arkansas Black is a great apple, imho. Not only excellent flavor and crispness, but it also stores incredibly well, lasting months, if stored properly.
 
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Crt Jakhel wrote:William's pride is a favorite at our place. It's a summer apple so it doesn't last long off the tree and you have to pick it at the right time. But when you do hit the sweet spot it's glorious.



I had never heard of William's Pride before. I think I was thinking of Williams Favorite.

Very cool apple! It appears to have a wide growing range too based on what I read about it!
 
Steve Thorn
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Carla Burke wrote: Arkansas Black is a great apple, imho. Not only excellent flavor and crispness, but it also stores incredibly well, lasting months, if stored properly.



I recently tried an Arkansas Black and liked it too! It did have a unique good flavor in my opinion, and the flesh was very firm. The person who grew it said their tree was a few years old and had almost no bug damage, I would guess partly due to the thick skin and very firm flesh. :)
 
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I would say my favorites are wickson, newtown pippin, and golden gem. I grafted all of them and should have the first home grown ones next year.
 
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Among my favorites are karmijn de sonnaville, northern spy, and winesap.  These are all great fresh.

 
Steve Thorn
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Chris Holcombe wrote:I would say my favorites are wickson, newtown pippin, and golden gem. I grafted all of them and should have the first home grown ones next year.



I've heard Wickson is really sweet, was that true for the one you tasted? What do the others taste like?
 
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I don't know, but it sure tastes good.

I am not being evasive. Here in Maine, there was a huge hobby where people would grow apples for the huge apple industry that was here until the 1930's. After that it moved to Washington State which we could not compete with.

So on my farm, which was covered with apple orchards until the 1940's when my Grandfather tipped the trees over, dug up the roots and planted potatoes in these old orchards. BUT many remain. One tree is unique among the trees that are also unique. In other words it is THE only tree because its apple is yellow. What variety it is...I do not know. It grows on the old Hamlin Place so I assume Hamlin grafted the trees together that made it all its own.

In Maine this was a common practice, and the owner of Fedco Trees would often tour the Maine Countryside looking for these odd apple varieties. There is something like 200 varieties in my county alone. I contacted him to come out as he is only 15 miles away, but at the time was going through cancer and did not have the strength. But the tree is still here, it tastes really good, and is really old! I would say about 18 inches in diameter.
 
Steve Thorn
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Eric Thompson wrote:Among my favorites are karmijn de sonnaville, northern spy, and winesap.  These are all great fresh.



I've been wanting to try a fresh Winesap. I tried one that had been in storage for a while, and it had a pretty good tangy flavor, but I bet it would be really good fresh!

How do the others taste? Do you grow them?



 
Chris Holcombe
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Yeah wickson is very sweet but also has a high acid content. It’s good. My daughter ate the ones I purchased down to the core. It’s hard to describe the others. Newtown pippin has an interesting perfume to it and golden gem has a bit of a nutty taste to it I’ve heard. I remember newtown pippin having an excellent aftertaste.
 
Steve Thorn
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Travis Johnson wrote:So on my farm, which was covered with apple orchards until the 1940's when my Grandfather tipped the trees over, dug up the roots and planted potatoes in these old orchards. BUT many remain. One tree is unique among the trees that are also unique. In other words it is THE only tree because its apple is yellow. What variety it is...I do not know. It grows on the old Hamlin Place so I assume Hamlin grafted the trees together that made it all its own.



So sad that this happened to so many old orchards, but like you said, some remain!

Travis Johnson wrote:In Maine this was a common practice, and the owner of Fedco Trees would often tour the Maine Countryside looking for these odd apple varieties. There is something like 200 varieties in my county alone. I contacted him to come out as he is only 15 miles away, but at the time was going through cancer and did not have the strength. But the tree is still here, it tastes really good, and is really old!



It's really neat to think that there are some really great apples out there that are uniquely adapted to their location and taste really good!
 
Steve Thorn
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Chris Holcombe wrote:Yeah wickson is very sweet but also has a high acid content. It’s good. My daughter ate the ones I purchased down to the core. It’s hard to describe the others. Newtown pippin has an interesting perfume to it and golden gem has a bit of a nutty taste to it I’ve heard. I remember newtown pippin having an excellent aftertaste.



Newtown pippen sounds like a really neat one. I've read that it's a really old apple and is a vigorous grower!
 
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Out of the 28 apples my DH and I planted my favorite home grown apple is Hudson Golden Gem, Holstein rates second. For pies only King will do.  Any home grown apple beats the pants off the sorry excuse for human food that store bought apples are.
 
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gina kansas wrote:Out of the 28 apples my DH and I planted my favorite home grown apple is Hudson Golden Gem, Holstein rates second. For pies only King will do.  Any home grown apple beats the pants off the sorry excuse for human food that store bought apples are.



I've heard Hudson Golden Gem has a good pear like taste, is that true?

I love the russet apples, its a shame they've fallen out of popularity due to consumers preferring the smooth skin varieties.

I wander if the russet could also help give the apple more resistance to insects?
 
Steve Thorn
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gina kansas wrote:Out of the 28 apples my DH and I planted my favorite home grown apple is Hudson Golden Gem, Holstein rates second. For pies only King will do.  Any home grown apple beats the pants off the sorry excuse for human food that store bought apples are.



I've heard Holstein has a pineapple flavor, that sounds delicious!
 
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I'm a fan of 'ashmeads kernal', stores really well and tastes great even after a few months- I always think it tastes like sweets. The apple looks rather poor- kinda small and lumpy green russet, but it tastes amazing.
 
Steve Thorn
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Charli Wilson wrote:I'm a fan of 'ashmeads kernal', stores really well and tastes great even after a few months- I always think it tastes like sweets. The apple looks rather poor- kinda small and lumpy green russet, but it tastes amazing.



That's awesome, I've heard it tastes really good! Is it like a super sweet taste or like a fruity candy taste?

I've taken the approach with apples that, appearances can be deceiving, and it's what's on the inside that counts!
 
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Steve Thorn wrote:
That's awesome, I've heard it tastes really good! Is it like a super sweet taste or like a fruity candy taste?



I think it tastes like candy- I've heard people compare it to peardrops (though I don't think I've ever tried pear drops).
 
Steve Thorn
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Charli Wilson wrote:I think it tastes like candy- I've heard people compare it to peardrops (though I don't think I've ever tried pear drops).



Mmm, I've never had them either, but they do sound good!
 
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Eric Thompson wrote:Among my favorites are karmijn de sonnaville, northern spy, and winesap.  These are all great fresh.



I had never heard of Karmijn de Sonnaville. It was neat finding out that it has Cox's Orange Pippen as a parent which lended to its good flavor. It looks like it can be a little particular to grow, preferring cool, dry climates, but a very neat apple.
 
Steve Thorn
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Fuji apples are one of my favorite that I've bought, can't wait to hopefully get my own first harvest this year!


(source)
 
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My absolute favourite all round apple is Bramley Seedling. This apple has the most superb flavour in crumbles, pies and sauces, amd if left to go mellow yellow (I was always convinced as a child that the song was about bramleys!) They eat beautifully.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bramley_apple

Second best is the Cox's Orange Pippin, which we only ever had at Christmas when I was young (we used to have the cheapest available the rest of the year)
And they were sooooo tasty.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cox%27s_Orange_Pippin

Needless to say I have planted both in my finca and I am hoping it doesn't get too hot here for them.
 about Bramleys
 bramley pie
This is where I get my fruit trees from.
https://www.orangepippintrees.eu/apple-trees/bramleys-seedling

Enjoy!
 
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I live in West Virginia, where we have plenty of moisture and plenty of summer heat and winter cold, which means our big challenge is disease. I've had a small orchard for ten years; I've never sprayed anything, am not willing to use any chemicals, so disease resistance was my top priority. I got advice from the nursery I got my trees from, which I recommend, Cummins in upstate NY. My three trees are Goldrush, Enterprise and Priscilla. Priscilla is ripe in July or August and is not bad for a summer apple. I prefer hard, sweet, sour, late apples; Enterprise and Goldrush both fit this category. Goldrush is my favorite; I don't know as it tastes better than Enterprise but it was very early, bears nearly every year regardless of conditions and must be heavily thinned as it sets so heavily. One of its parents is Golden Delicious which it mostly resembles, but it has more flavor and character. My neighbor has Arkansas Black, I like that one too and have a freshly grafted start; I also put in Winecrisp a couple years ago but it's not growing fast--the deer are picking on it. And, you didn't ask but I have a Surefire sour cherry--you only need one of those, and Surefire is bred for late bloom--it actually blooms after my peaches, pears and apples.
 
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Folks might want to indicate their growing zone. Mine is 3-4 and I don't spray. My trees are just starting to produce, so I don't have a report on all of them
Also, an apple variety might be great for some applications but not so good for another: I make pies, applesauce and I like to dry mine for snacking. I'd rather not freeze them: I'll convert them to juice/ cider rather than use the energy. This year, I've gotten so many Gala apples that I decided to make hard cider [applejack]
To make applesauce Cortland can't be beat: They don't brown. But they are only so so out of hand.
Honeycrisp is great out of hand, but the tree is a little touchy and it bakes hard, which is a feature my husband does not care for. It would be terrible for applesauce unless you like it very lumpy!
Wealthy is more of a cooking apple but if you have a lot of rain during harvesting, they may split on the tree.
Sweet Sixteen has a wonderful aromatic flavor but seems to be preferred by the deer: They browsed it heavily and I had to put protection on it. The bottom branches still get nipped but as it grows bigger, it should get better. I nicked it pretty badly with a lawnmower once, so it is growing a little crooked.
Haralson is quite juicy, with a little tartness and has a reputation for making great cider. Once I start getting enough to make cider, I'll let you know: It only had 3 apples this year [first year].
Yellow Transparent gave me her first fruit this year. Good taste but smaller than the catalog indicated. They disappeared pretty fast.
Wolf river is a Wisconsin heirloom apple and is monstrously big. Its calling is for drying. When going hunting you might want to take dried apples: If you don't dry them to the crispy stage, they are soft and won't make noise, but keep them in the fridge.
I got Enterprise, Liberty and Freedom but they have not borne fruit yet. Their reputation is they are relatively trouble free.
Red Gravenstein and Duchess of Oldenburg never seem to survive here, so I quit planting them.
I get all my trees from Jung's: They do not use GMOs. You may glean more from their catalog at www.jungseed.com

 
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After tasting hundreds of apple varieties for several years at the Cloud Mountain Fruit Festival in Whatcom County, Wa.,  I repeatedly settled on Elstar Apples as the best.  They are crunchy, juicy, sweet, tart, complicated flavor and medium sized.  Elstars, besides being heavenly eating, make prize winning pies, apple sauce with no sugar or spices needed, and are amazing dried.  Four years ago I got to taste an even better apple, Esopus spitzenburg which was Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple.  I had one grafted and am growing it up now.  
 
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Here in NM I’ve been grafting a wide variety from a number of late blooming apples.id have to say winesap, Arkansas black, ginger gold, Cox’s orange pippin are on the top of my list but for a really unique apple with so many undertones of tangy, sour, sweet, and spice SALAME is Incredible!! Another note is Arkansas Black has a flavor that develops into deliciousness with a couple months in the root cellar.
 
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:I got Enterprise, Liberty and Freedom but they have not borne fruit yet. Their reputation is they are relatively trouble free.



Enterprise is gloriously free of leaf problems but is much appreciated by the coddling moth. Good reliable cropper but not an amazing experience.
 
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Anyone know of some nice thick-skinned storage/cooking varieties, that would probably be not very nice to eat fresh? It's hard to find information on those, haha. I get the sense that older varieties and russets are the thing to look at but haven't found much in the way of specifics.
 
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We have Cortland and Golden Delicious, and of those two I prefer the Goldens.

My absolute favorite apple that I've tasted (and admittedly I haven't tasted many of the hundreds/thousands) is the Ginger Gold, but I haven't had a home grown one. It's rated for zone 5, so I'm hoping to either move or work on creating a microclimate warm enough to grow my own GG some day.
 
Steve Thorn
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Amanda Launchbury-Rainey wrote:My absolute favourite all round apple is Bramley Seedling. This apple has the most superb flavour in crumbles, pies and sauces, amd if left to go mellow yellow (I was always convinced as a child that the song was about bramleys!) They eat beautifully.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bramley_apple

Second best is the Cox's Orange Pippin, which we only ever had at Christmas when I was young (we used to have the cheapest available the rest of the year)
And they were sooooo tasty.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cox%27s_Orange_Pippin

Needless to say I have planted both in my finca and I am hoping it doesn't get too hot here for them.

Enjoy!



Sounds delicious, my weakness is apple crumble.

In the video it said the Bramley tree was around 200 years old, that is amazing! I might have to look into planting one, as it appears as it could possibly survive in my climate.

I've heard Cox's Orange Pippen has amazing flavor, I'm guessing with some hints of orange due to the name , how would you describe it?

I wish I could grow one here, but it probably couldn't handle our humidity, maybe I can find one fresh somewhere else to try!

Great information!
 
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