Sweetest Apple Variety?

Orchardman(7)May 18, 2014

I am fond of honeycrisp, but am getting a pixie crunch. Thinking about getting a zester.

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

I have a Red Fuji that is really sweet.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Honeycrisp is the sweetest we grow.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:03AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Rubinette and Golden Russet are both in the top category for sugar levels. Honeycrisp is not, I would not call it a really sweet apple based on the ones I have had. Its good, just not as sweet.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:26AM
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Cinnamon spice is a very sweet medium sized red apple with a cinnamon aftertaste. It is possibly my favorite apple of all the ones I have tasted.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:41PM
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donnaz5(Z5 NY)

We have an antique/vintage variety here called Tollman...sometimes spelled Tolman...it is a late ripening yellow. Very sweet!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 5:16PM
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alan haigh

Sansa, but sweet in a good way, with some acid. You won't pick a sweeter early apple.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 5:48PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Sonya has to be up there. That is not public domain.
I would say a ripe Shizuka is the sweetest I've tasted.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 6:07PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I've taken brix readings on well over 70 types of apples (I have a spreadsheet from 2012 with 53 from that year) and the tops I've found is Golden Russet in the 21-22 range.

Goldrush has also exceeded 20, but isn't really a "sweet" apple- it's more a sweet-tart.

Others which just touched 20 (usually on only some samples from a given piece of fruit):
Roxbury Russet- Not bad, but Golden Russet beats it hands down in the samples I've had. But, I've heard GR has more problems...
SweeTango- very good strong flavor and crunch. Related to Honeycrisp, but it is not available to grow
Jonathan- a very good early fall apple which is normally in the 16-17 range, but I got an outlier

The highest brix Fuji I've had was an 18 brix Kiku (Brak cultivar, I think). Similar to a good Fuji, but a bit more flavorful was Florina Querina, which I had for the first time last fall (16-18 brix range).

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:16PM
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Last year Pixie Crunch was wonderful. It is a great little tree.

But in my last year's experience, Florina was the sweetest apple. It ripened late, bore abundantly as a graft ( on a Red Delicious tree), and--though not indicated in Fruit and Nut inventory--kept very nicely until spring in our spare refrigerator.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 7:10AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Thanks Bob, interesting data. I thought I would Google for brix data and found an interesting report I had not seen, see link below. It has brix of 40 or so popular varieties today. Ashmead's Kernel seems to be the highest there. Their apples have lower brix than yours Bob, being a commercial grower (commercial growers tend to get get lower brix, more watering to size up and less perfect timing on the picking).

The report also has a bunch of taste tests and other interesting data in it.


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 8:43AM
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How's the flavor on the zester?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 10:19PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Has anyone tried the Hawaii Apple?It's suppose to be a Gravenstein and Golden Delicious cross and tastes somewhat like Pineapple.Sounds like it could be sweet. Brady

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:18PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Thanks for the link Scott- it was very interesting to have so much data.

Some of my fruit matched up quite well with their observations. William's Pride is listed at 12.5 and most of mine were in the 11-14 range.

Others, like Akane were pretty far off (11 vs 14-17). I wonder if it has to do with the size of some of my trees. Most of my trees are on the small side, which ensures that there is lots of sun hitting the fruit. Liberty may be another one which is greatly impacted. While the link lists it at 11.5, I had some Liberties which were much higher. One actually registered 18.5 on one side and 11.8 on the other side of the same apple.

It's interesting that you mention Ashmead's Kernel. I debated listing that one, as I had a single apple from a potted tree this past summer which hit 20 brix. But, I figured that being potted introduced too much variance from what you would see growing it normally. That apple was quite nice, though I also had two other apples from the tree which were nearly inedible due to cracking and extreme bitter pit.

From my list, only Goldrush and Roxbury Russet came from my yard. The Jonathan came from a farmer's market. The Golden Russet came from a semi-local PYO, though I may get some Golden Russet from my tree this year. And of course SweeTango came from a grocery store.

Orchardman, Zestar is a good late summer apple. From my notes, I got it at a Farmer's market around 8/15 and it had 14 brix. It tastes a bit like a Honeycrisp and is sweet-tart with lots of juice.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:27PM
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alan haigh

Zestar is an outstanding late summer apple by my thinking and taste. It is precocious and otherwise grower friendly, but Sansa really is much sweeter to the palate than it and many others being discussed here. There is no sweeter tasting apple in its season as far as I know. Of apples I've tasted only Fuji approaches it.

Brix doesn't sort out acid sugar balance. Jonathon is not even considered by most to be a sweet apple, although when fully ripe I think it's more sweet than tart. Newer strains are so red it is probably often picked pre-ripe.

Ashmead's is a great tasting apple, but has enough acid not to be considered a super sweet. It seems to be a terribly unreliable producer in my orchard which I'm trying to figure out if there's some trick of management to rectify. Thinning is not the trick.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 5:21AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Brady, I have Hawaii. It is similar to Golden Delicious but with a bit better flavor; its quite sweet. My tree has gone through a series of travails involving deer, weedeaters, fireblight, etc, and is finally recovering so I hope to soon get apples from it again.

Hman is pointing out there are two notions of sweet for apples, one is sweet vs sour the other is the absolute amount of sugars. I was taking the latter meaning but maybe the poster was asking about the former. If an apple is not sour but has a lot of sugars it tastes cloying, so it tends to be only more acidic apples have very high brix.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:04AM
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alan haigh

Except Fuji, Sansa and some of the other Japanese types. Brix without much acid- just enough not to be cloying.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:45PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Thanks Scott,maybe I can find some sometime at a farmers market.I hope yours gets better. Brady

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 11:18PM
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Tsugaru is very sweet.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:20AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


If you read this post, can you tell me about the "crunch" of Sansa? I already have it planted, but I'm debating whether to put in more Zestar, or Sansa (both of which ripen at the same time). Really I'm wondering if Sansa will retain its snap in our KS heat.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 10:49PM
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alan haigh

My memory of the two (I eat an awful lot of apples and my memory is not great) is that Zestar has more snap- and I know you won't have any trouble selling that apple. I have tilted towards Zestar in my nursery but both are WOW types as far as the reactions of my customers.

I suspect Sansa will perform well in warm conditions, as does Fuji, but I haven't tried storing either Zestar or Sansa. I'm much more focused on stone fruit during summer months. You should probably post the question and see if any non-coastal CA or southern growers respond. My knowledge is insufficient.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:49AM
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HMan: If you do uncover any tricks that will increase the productivity of Ashmead's please post.
I have one on M111 that is begining to bear fruit. last year I had some this year even more, althought not as productive as other varieties of the same age and root stock. Tree is pruned to a vase shape and 6 years old.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:04AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Thanks Hman,

Yesterday I spoke w/ a friend who is a commercial apple/peach grower. Your comments about Zestar match his. He says his customers love the apple. He planted another 75 Zestar this spring.

I asked him about Sansa, and he'd never tried it, hence my question.

Maybe I'll put in a few more of both.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 8:57AM
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The sweetest and best apple I have ever tasted was yellow. Too bad I did not get its name :(
It was sweet and has a little tart taste to it and soft skin with no green taste.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:11PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I just got a Hawaii from Cummins this spring. It is loaded with blossoms. I've never seen an apple so precocious.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 7:07PM
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