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Favorite apple varieties?

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LostHighway

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Since we're in prime apple season I'm curious as to other members favorites? I love the now ubiquitous Honeycrisp but I also enjoy the following:
Fostbite aka MN 447 This is an old (1930s) U of M variety. It just had an number rather than a name for decades because the U thought it was too divergent from conventional apple flavors to succeed commercially. It has a very distinctive caramelized sugar/molasses flavor but the flavor profile is much more complex than just that dominant note. Fedco and Fedco customers in Maine, and John Bunker specifically, deserve credit for pushing it into commercial release.
Wickson This is a small (larger crab apple size) apple with a complex, huge taste, both quite acidic/tart and very sweet. It is also a very handsome apple usually a very bright red.
Black Oxford A Maine heirloom variety from the late 18th C. Like Honeycrisp it is a long keeping apple. It is suitable for both pies and fresh eating.
I also tend to like most of the russet apple varieties such as Hudson's Golden Gem, Roxbury Russet, Ashmead's Kernel, Egremont Russet, etc. Great fresh eating apples and also great for hard cider.
 

McMan

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It's clear you know more about apples than I do :)
But here's an interesting tidbit of colonial apple history
 

AT5760

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Macoun. This is the first year in about a decade that I wasn't able to pick a ton at my favorite orchard in southern Maine. I second @McMan, your apple knowledge definitely outpaces mine.
 

Crobert

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If I had to pick one favorite, it would be Akane; growing up we had a tree in the yard, so this one has nostalgic value in addition to eating characteristics I prefer. To me, it's the quintessential early autumn apple. More recently I've also enjoyed Gravenstein for it's tart flavor. I generally tend to prefer apples with higher acidity, but Orin is a notable exception; they have a good crisp texture and a really unique flavor. I think of them as having an almost asian pear-like quality, though still with a distinctly apple flavor.
@LostHighway I've never had Black Oxfords before, but they look gorgeous!
 

The Edge

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My apple knowledge is quite low, but from what we can get where I am, I like Pink Ladies. Though, for cooking, I'm partial to Grannysmith apples for cooking, as we had a tree in Vegas when I was growing up. My wife's family loves yellow transparent for making apple pies, though their tree died years ago, and the one that was planted a few years ago isn't putting out tons of apples yet.
 

esoo

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Place at the farmers market near my cottage has introduced me to Blondee apples which I really like.
 

LostHighway

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So far of the more oddball varieties:
Mutsu- wife says they taste like apple jolly ranchers
Arkansas black- crisp, a bit of cinnamon n spice, so nice
I like Mutsus, but I think more people know them as Crispins these days. I've never had an Arkansas Black, it sounds really interesting.

I really don't know all that much about apples. I didn't get really interested until we moved to Maine. Northern New England is sort of an epicenter for heirloom apples. There are a number of fruit explorers in Northern New England and Maine is littered with old, often not maintained, apple trees so a number of older varieties have been rediscovered. Fedco, which is a largely organic seed and farm supply store in Maine, sponsors an annual Apple Day and they often have two or three dozen different heirloom varieties to taste. The resurgence of interest in cider has lead to increased planting of heirloom varieties including cider blending varieties which are often too acidic or too bitter and tannic for cooking or eating but add complexity to really good cider. Franklin County in Western Mass has an annual Cider Days if northwestern Mass is accessible.
Cornell-Geneva has a huge collection of rare apple varieties. The founder of Cummins Nursery is ex-Cornell-Geneva and they have quite a good selection of heirloom tree varieties. Fedco is another good source for heirloom trees although with more limited rootstock choices. The Mid-Atlantic states, Virginia especially, and Ontario also have interesting regional and heirloom apple traditions but I know little about them. England, of course, retains an active heirloom apple and cider tradition as does Normandy in France with both a famous cider and Calvados tradition..
 

Wahnamhong

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Where did you get those? I planted a Cox's orange pippin tree from FEDCO this Spring, be 3 years before I get to try one. Also planted an "Ashmead's kernel", same story.

Of ones I grow now: Macoun, Haralson, Empire. Like Fuji, have had some OK Honeycrisp.
I live in Northern Europe, and cox is a classic variety here. Though even here they are getting increasingly hard to find in stores as their harvests are bit finicky it seems. Supermarkets tend to go for consistency. Trees are still readily available though for personal use.
 

LostHighway

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Where did you get those? I planted a Cox's orange pippin tree from FEDCO this Spring, be 3 years before I get to try one. Also planted an "Ashmead's kernel", same story.

Of ones I grow now: Macoun, Haralson, Empire. Like Fuji, have had some OK Honeycrisp.
If you want to grow Cox's Orange Pippin or any other of the heirloom or antique varieties Cummin's Nursery is at least as good as, and in some ways better, than Fedco. Get your order in as early as possible at either vendor for the best selection. I don't know about the winter hardiness of some of the English varieties in Minnesota, especially if they are on dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstocks. Black Oxford should definitely be winter hardy for you and is definitely worth considering IMO.
IME apples in three years is a little optimistic if the trees are on Fedco's preferred Antonovka rootstock.
 

Bert2368

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If you want to grow Cox's Orange Pippin or any other of the heirloom or antique varieties Cummin's Nursery is at least as good as, and in some ways better, than Fedco. Get your order in as early as possible at either vendor for the best selection. I don't know about the winter hardiness of some of the English varieties in Minnesota, especially if they are on dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstocks. Black Oxford should definitely be winter hardy for you and is definitely worth considering IMO.
IME apples in three years is a little optimistic if the trees are on Fedco's preferred Antonovka rootstock.
My apples from FEDCO are on Antonovka, full sized rootstock. Chosen because, Southern end of Zone 4, usually gets to -30°F or colder at least once each winter.

FEDCO vegie seeds have done pretty well for me, these are the first trees I have got from them.
 

LostHighway

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My apples from FEDCO are on Antonovka, full sized rootstock. Chosen because, Southern end of Zone 4, usually gets to -30°F or colder at least once each winter.

FEDCO vegie seeds have done pretty well for me, these are the first trees I have got from them.
I like Fedco, please don't misunderstand, but Cummin's generally has a better selection of fruit trees and IMO a much better selection of rootstocks. I would confer with Cummin's and/or the U or M but I believe P.18 and probably G.890 should be fine where you are. There are Minnesota orchards that have been growing fairly successfully on some of the Malling rootstocks but I would not recommend that path.
 
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