what's your favorite apple

johnnysapplesApril 25, 2013

If you like apples post your favorite apple and tell us why. It could be fun to see what kind of a list we get.

I like the granny smith. It's a nice crisp sour apple. It makes a great caramel apple too.

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franktank232(z5 WI)


    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:46PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Goldrush (grown myself), Golden Russet (semi-local orchard), and SweeTango (Whole Foods), in that order. All three have lots of sweetness (20+ brix) and flavor. Goldrush and SweeTango also have plenty of acid/kick and great crunch.

I've got ~3 dozen more varieties growing. I also grafted another 10 varieties which I'm hopeful about, but I'm a bit nervous given how I butchered them. Hopefully someday soon I can have a better informed list.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 10:14PM
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Your 3doz all fruiting, how many trees do you have these on? I just ordered a bunch of new varieties to graft onto my 3 trees this spring.

Have any of you tried Blondee or Shizuka? Those are 2 that Im hopeful about...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:02PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Nope- no Blondee or Shizuka, though I like Mutsu (Shizuka's sibling), which I've had from local orchards.

I have only 1 tree per variety, except for 2 (Goldrush and Ashmead's Kernel), where I have dupes. I also have one tree which I'm attempting to make into a multi-graft monster.

Only 3 of the trees had fruit last year, but I had a bunch which flowered and later dropped fruit, so hopefully they will be ready this year. There are 10 3rd leaf and ~14 each of 2nd leaf and freshly planted trees. My guess is that I'll get apples from most of the 3rd leafs and a few of the 2nd leaf. I'm most looking forward to Pitmaston Pineapple, Red Boskoop, and several of the russets (Ashmead, Hudsons,GG, Egremont, Roxbury, etc).

I'm also hoping for some Sweet Sixteen, as I've heard it has quite a distinctive taste. Unlike last year where a large (for its age) tree only had one small branch blooming, the tree is covered this year.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Pink Lady. Very crisp, really nice sweet/tart balance, and a long keeper.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:46AM
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Liberty when it's right; Winesap, Prairie Spy, Macoun, Sweet Sixteen, Haralson, Yellow Delicious ... it's like trying to choose your favorite child. Plus, there are so many I haven't tried yet!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 8:09AM
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Pacific Rose. If only I could grow it!

Fuji, of what I can grow.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:36AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Jonamac, Kidd's Orange Red.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Well ripened granny smith, zestar, egremont russet, goldrush, williams pride, honeycrisp in that order.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:29AM
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McIntosh for the past several years. I think mainly because it's been my most prolific, and it's good to just eat or bake with.

I have a State Fair that you don't hear much about but we like it quite a bit too. (Though I think my wife likes the Haralson ahead of the SF. We both agree on the Mac as #1 in our house though).

I planted an Empire and a Honeycrisp 5 or 6 years ago and neither have made an apple yet, but I hoping for this year.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:30AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

In my opinion, Cortland is the best flavored apple overall. I can eat 3 or 4 of them at a time when I am in the mood, never get tired of them, and they make the very best sauce and pies as well.

I also love Jazz, Honeycrisp, Arlet (a.k.a., Swiss Gourmet), Hudson's Golden Gem⦠so many great apples. Oh, and Winesap and Arkansas Black, both great apples AND excellent keepers!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Of the apples I have sampled my favorites are cinnamon spice, (old fashioned)winesap, and summer banana for their unique flavors.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I have never tasted any apples which taste better than my Fujis. Every year they amaze me with how sweet they are. I just wish they kept longer.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 10:15PM
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Honeycrisp. Very sweet, crispy, juicy, with a clean apple flavor. With Frank also making it his favorite as well, I'm wondering if this apple develops better in the upper Midwest climate? How many other varieties of apples are dependent on location to maximize their flavor?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:52PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


Yeah..i think they need a certain climate to get really good, and i think they are better some years then others. I guess that can be said about a lot of other fruit too... A good Honeycrisp to me is better then any other fruit out there.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 11:12PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I like the small Fuji I get at Walmart. The larger Fuji from the supermarket is too much for a single snack.

This post was edited by albert_135 on Sun, Apr 28, 13 at 12:14

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 12:07PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

Gold Rush, Karmijn da Sonnavile , Black Twig, Winesap, Mc Intosh, Belle de Boskoop.
John S

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:21AM
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alan haigh

From a home orchard perspective, probably the best apple going is Goldrush- at least that's my currant opinion. It bears reliably and young, practically prunes itself, is squirrel resistant (if there are ripe acorns before it starts to sweeten) and doesn't get scab or any weird fungal rots. It is also a wonderful tart apple that becomes sweet in storage, so can satisfy nearly all tastes eventually. However, it has no resistance to sooty blotch, so in humid climates it's pretty ugly under a low-spray program. It's the only apple I will spray for summer fungus.

Tastes change and their was a time when Fuji was my favorite apple, now I find it absolutely boring- sweet, very crisp and juicy but no character- that is aromatics or some acid to go with that sugar. But that opinion is only valid in my own palate and someone else bites into one and tastes something completely different- even my former self.

My favorite apple off the tree is probably Ashmead's Kernel, but it has a rep for being an unreliable producer and it's the only tree in my orchard this year not smothered in blossoms (it had very few fruit last year) so I'm becoming suspicious this is true- thought I was enough of an apple whisperer to overcome this trait. My exaggerated self-esteem has once again been deflated by a fruit tree.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 5:31AM
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Nice write up harvistman. I just want to say thanks to all who participated. I also have great ideas on scion wood orders for next year. I have so many wild apple trees to graft. Grafting can be great fun. I am showing signs of success with green tip buds already this year with the original buds to the root stock tree just about 3/4 " leaf showing out of the buds. Thanks to all this is a great forum!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:38AM
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I ordered some new scion wood this spring to try, I had to go by reviews and descriptions I found on the web, as I havent had the ability to try many of these. I live in zone 4 so needed to get somewhat hardy varieties, some may not survive but Ill give it a shot.

I got:
Williams Pride
Blushing Golden
Red Gravenstein
Pixie Crunch

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:23AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

This is my collection. I hope in a year or two I can narrow dowm my favorite: Ashmead's Kernel, Cox Orange Pippin, Stark's Golden Delicious, State Fair, Freyburg, Gold Rush, Red Fuji, Wonder Fuji, and Musk Mellon Sweet.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Sounds like you guys are having fun grafting too. I am up to124 grafts on my trees so far this spring. It's great to see some green tips on the big wood grafting I did.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 12:39PM
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gto66(z5 IL)

Honeycrisp for eating, and Jonagold for pies.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 3:52PM
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Pristine and Jonagold.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:12PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Back in the day cortland was my favorite. I really enjoy Jonagold and hit the orchards near my house when the you pick is in.
Suncrisp can't be beat and I like the cripps pink I just ate.
Mrs. G,
I got a pristine this year and anticipate an improvement from the yellow transparent I have. I might graft the whole YT thing over. to somehting else.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 9:02PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

From what is available at local orchard PYOs, I think Mutsu, Jonnagold, and Honeycrisp are the best (honorable mention for Macoun). I can't find Goldrush or Golden Russet russet at PYO, but they are a full level better than the above apples.

Just recently I discovered Lady Alice in the grocery store and it is a very good winter apple- up there with Pink Lady. The best had a brix of ~17 and reminded me of a Fuji (a good one, not the bland ones), mixed with a Orleans Reinette (which I've only had one batch of, but were very good), with a bit of Braeburn thrown in.

I'm surprised 2 people both liked Cortland the best. I've always found it OK, but not great- 2nd among the "mac" types, after Macoun. It does get pretty good size and has decent sweetness.

It's worth mentioning that I found Zestar at a farmer's market last summer (8/15) and it was head and shoulders above the other early apples. I'm looking forward to comparing it to William's Pride and possibly Akane this year. The WP just started opening its blossoms today, putting it as one of my early bloomers. Only my Red Boskoop is clearly earlier, as it has been blooming for 3-4 days and appears almost half way done.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:29PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

I haven't tasted a good Macoun yet. The ones I've tasted were sort of like a blander substitute for Cortland or McIntosh.

I will say this -- if blindfolded I probably could not tell you the difference between Cortland and Jonamac. They are extremely similar. Jonamac might even be my true favorite apple. I haven't tasted them side by side yet to know for sure. It seems to me that Jonamac has a more beautiful rosy color to it, whereas the traditional Cortland (not RedCort) tends to be a lot more pale green. But again I could be wrong -- probably depends most of all on sunlight exposure.

As long as I'm replying to bob pretty much directly... I agree that Zestar is probably the very best early apple -- love it. And Lady Alice is very good too. The supermarkets are finding better ones these days, thankfully. Of course they still always have way way way too many Red Dels on hand, not that they can really help it, I'm sure they're cheap and still turn out great profits based on looks if nothing else...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:25AM
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alan haigh

Zestar is a great apple for those in love with the Honeycrisp big cell crunch. Does much better in warm weather, from my experience without any of the rots that are so common with Honeycrisp- especially on young trees. Has a very columnar growth habit so can be kept in small spaces relative to root stock.

I like its' flavor-texture better than Williams pride, but WP begins ripening almost a month earlier here so the comparison is only partially valid. WP is still an outstanding apple in its' very early and very long picking season.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 6:30AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I ate a lot of Mac, Cortland, and Empire when I lived in upstate NY and I always preferred Empire which nobody has mentioned. I didn't prefer it enough to grow it, but its a very good apple.

Heres my current top-20. I like russets, highly flavored, and more sour apples so its biased in that direction. Gee, I don't see a completely-red apple in my whole list! King David would be my favorite of the all-reds.

Freyburg is my favorite, it is very reliable and when well-ripened has it all: looks, crunch, sweetness, great aromatics, and a little spiciness. Its moderately susceptible to fireblight and sizes unevenly; I expect the latter has kept it out of the commercial trade.

  1. Freyburg
  2. Gold Rush
  3. Wickson Crab (but, cracks every other year)
  4. Nonpareil
  5. Rubinette
  6. Kidds Orange Red
  7. Bonne Hotture
  8. Abbondanza
  9. Chestnut Crab
  10. Hawaii
  11. Swayzie
  12. Newtown Pippin
  13. Pomme Gris
  14. Reine des Reinettes
  15. Ashmead's Kernel
  16. Mother
  17. Golden Russet (American)
  18. Rusty Coat
  19. White Winter Pearmain
  20. Golden Nugget


    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 8:32AM
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megamav(5a - NY)


How good was James Hutton Kidd?
Freyberg, Gala, Kidd's Orange Red.

All masterpieces in their own realm.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Noogy!!!! So glad you ordered a Pristine. You will have apples your second year. It is very precocious. You will have to use the apples quickly as they are ripe the end of July to the third week in Aug. By Sept. they are gone!!!! They are very juicy, sweet/tart/ and simply delish. You won't be disappointed. Mrs. G ps, I bag mine.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:54AM
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I tried Jonagold for the first time recently. It was delicious, with a near perfect crispness and texture.

Hman is right about Goldrush bearing young. I received some very small trees from Burnt Ridge this year. My Goldrush was about 30 inches tall (unpruned) with a diameter smaller than a pencil - a tiny "tree". I just planted it at the end of the year and it had flowers on it this spring. Talk about precocious. It is on M111.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:04PM
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jayco(5b NY)

I've lived in apple country my whole life and, though of course I have my favorite varieties, I just want to point out how incredibly variable the same apple can be depending upon a whole host of factors: the weather that year, where it's grown, down to the microclimate or even the particular tree, how fresh it is when you eat it, how long it's been stored, etc. So, for example, one of my early McIntosh apples eaten right off the tree around September 1 in a good year is among the very best fruit I've ever eaten; whereas a supermarket Mac even a few weeks old is at best mediocre.

That being said I am on the Goldrush bandwagon.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 11:23AM
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South East Michigan reporting in. I have to throw my vote in for Jonagold. Glad to see it get some mention. The local orchard had a bit of a taste test - my pick was Jonagold two years running. Thought for sure I'd pick the Honeycrisp but the JGold just hit me right!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:54PM
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