Absolute favorite apple (TASTE , not texture or to grow..etc)


When discussions of Honeycrisp come up and I mention I don’t care for it, there is often someone who tells me I just haven’t had a good one. I’ve eaten Honeycrisp apples from many west coast orchards and they are all forgettable. Over the last 5 or 6 years I’ve had two people send me Honeycrisp apples from Minnesota and New York state and they’re just as forgettable as those I’ve eaten from the west. They’re crispy, sweet and have very little flavor. Crispiness does nothing for me. I don’t dislike it, but it I don’t consider it a good quality either. And sweetness by itself is not much to talk about. If I want sweetness, I’ll eat jujubes or dates. About the only good thing I can say about Honeycrisp is that it is better than Red Delicious.


I’m not a fan either, but I have had ones I really like 15 or 20 years ago. And I’ve had Red Delicious that were good 40 years ago.

I care about texture, and honey crisp texture is good, but I prefer denser and harder. I don’t think I’ve had a Honey Crisp over 12 brix in the last 10 years though.


The range of climate in the U.S. makes a comparison between continents (or islands) problematic. I’m sure same varieties even taste much different depending where they are grown in Britain. Here you can grow apples right on the shore of the Atlantic and be in a completely different environment just a mile inland. My sister lives on the west coast just south of the Oregon border and can’t grow peaches, but she could literally hike to a site where there was more than enough heat and sun to grow them. On any given day the difference in temp is probably close to 20 degrees F. if you hike above the “fogline” in N.CA.

I bet your comparisons between British grown and U.S. grown are not representative of very wide ranges unless you are a fruit tourist that travels from region to region for your samples.


There’s a new mutation where Honeycrisp is all red in color now…so that probably means a reduction in how it tastes, like Red Delicious.


Strong sweet, tart, distinctive flavor and crunch.
John S


I’ve got a very red strain of Jonagold that I believe is better than the original. I think it can probably swing either way.


McIntosh, by far


I’ve noticed this with Jonagolds as well. The redder they are, the better and more flavorful they taste.


Makes you wonder why they didn’t chase that combination with Red Delicious- oh yeah, the red strains are coming from Europe where they taste their food.

Just kidding folks, I’m not even sure where Wilton’s Red Jonaprince came from.

Actually, it was discovered in the Netherlands- just looked it up.


Macs taste really good here.


So much of it is how it’s grown. I’ve had organically grown (very expensive) Honeycrisps that I thought were really good. And I’ve had a lot of them that are mediocre. After reading some of the great apple books, I went down to the fancy store and bought a lot of the greatest apples on this list. All were mediocre. Picked weeks early in soil that they don’t care about. A lot of Macs here are very mediocre. I grow them myself and they are awesome, but you have to eat them right away.Pick and eat the same day. If you wait a week, they’re just another apple.
John S


i agree. i got some last year at a u pick and they were awesome. then there are some fresh apples that are mediocre then a few months in the fridge and are great. so many variables.


Glad to hear re: Topaz, John, because we tend to like similar strong tart sweet/tart apples. I have it here somewhere.


There is such a wide variety of flavor. I can’t explain it. Would that I could… but suffice to say that there is indeed a wide range of flavor profiles in the apple world.

I’ve tasted maybe a few hundred names varieties and many times that wild varieties. Just this season I probably tried a hundred wild varieties that were new to me. No two tasted the same, though some certainly had similarities. I’d have to check my notes for the precise number.

Apple genetics are very impressive.

As for favorites… all of my favorites are wild trees. But for named varieties I’m a big huge fan of the Maine heirloom Black Oxford.


Thanks Quill. If you give me some of your other favorites, I’ll try them. I also like King David, Gold Rush, and MacIntosh.
John S


Apples have been so important to humans in temperate climates that they are much more diverse than many other fruit.When you depend on them that much, you work with and experiment more with them. I have probably tried 200 named varieties and 30 unnamed. Once I started to see which ones I liked, I got books and tried to seek out ones that were similar. Also the Home Orchard Society had among the largest apple tastings in the world for 25 years that I tried.
John S


So true. I purchased a bag of Gala’s from a local grower a few weeks ago – they were really special. Would go down as one of my favourite apple tastes because, although sweet, I could taste additional aromatic flavours that I haven’t really noticed from the supermarket versions.

As for favourite flavoured apple, I am partial to the Sweet Sixteen. The hint of cherry flavour won’t be for everyone but I like it. Probably because it is unique, not found in stores, and then, if for no other reason, that it is from a tree growing in my yard.


I understand Gala has replaced Red Delicious as the most grown and sold apple in America.

I like Gala, but don’t get excited over it.

They bred Cosmic Crisp with Honeycrisp x Enterprise. Got a ‘winner’ in ease to grow.
But, a loser in the sense it’s just another shiny apple.


grafted sweet sixteen and its parent frostbite onto my sergeants crab last spring… looking forward to trying them.


Last year a Frostbite picked 6 weeks before maturity tasted almost like a Red Delicious in July from Kroger!