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


don’t tell me that! i hate red delicious! hopefully fully ripened the taste will change. could always juice them and cut with a tart apple.


I agree with the point about the variability of Honeycrisps. The run of supermarkets HCs are generally not very interesting (or worth the price), but here in Massachusetts, we get local ones in season that are really very nice: sweet but also tangy, kind of pineapple-y. Not necessarily my favorite, but they can be very good.

A few that I’ve particularly liked, in my not terribly wide experience (still waiting for our own trees to start bearing):

Jonagold (my daughter’s favorite)
Orleans Reinette
Roxbury Russet

Macs off the tree can also be great, otherwise I’m not so into them.


I agree with that, but they are truly a distinctive apple with a special crunch (within a few weeks after harvest, anyway) and aromatics. I can understand how they are the quintessential apple for some. Their productivity in the NE is outstanding and even unthinned trees are often annual bearers here no matter how heavy the loads.


Mac truly has some top notch genetics. There are so many great offspring from Mac as well. Empire, Macoun, Liberty, Cortland, Jonamac, Spartan, Summerred, and many others I’m sure. I think I prefer the flavor of Empire a bit more than Mac but I like the higher tartness of Mac. Summerred may be my favorite for flavor overall but I’ve only tried a couple so far; hope to taste more of it from my tree next year.


Agree, they’re both excellent and distinctive at their peak, but their peak is pretty short, and outside that window they’re generally just ok at best. And growing up in New England, I ate enough “just ok” ones that it probably colors my perspective. (I remember them being kind of the default school-lunch apple of my childhood.)


if the honeycrisps in Maine tasted as you described id be all for them. the only ones I’ve tasted here are from a local nursery and from the shop n save. who knows where they come from. both have no tangy or any decernible flavor other than sweeter than a mac.


My mother used to buy them because they were the apple of her childhood. Romes she bought for baking. However, I discovered Newtown Pippins as a young teenager which were vastly better than those east coast apples. I wonder if they were imported from the east. The NP,s were grown near Santa Cruz.


Agree, we had a Mac tree and 2 Bartlett pear trees in the backyard growing up…I have that dual memory as well…Mac is outstanding right off the tree, and then there is the "meh, bruised school lunch , is that a banana or an apple I don’t care " ones…


Yeah, I was surprised myself, to be honest. Same crunch, but in terms of taste, it was like a totally different apple from the standard Honeycrisp. I’m not sure, but I think they came from this place in Connecticut: https://lymanorchards.com

I believe @mamuang grows Honeycrisps in central MA, so I would be interested to hear what hers are like.

@alan Is it true that most Macs are grown in the Northeast? They certainly seem to be a staple of older local orchards.

@Andrew Bruised school lunch, exactly. Throw in a crushed PB and J and you got it.


At our local Master Gardener fall festival, we have a member who has an orchard and brings both fresh and dried versions of about 15 varieties. It is a delight to discover how a blah fresh apple can become a standout dried apple. I have a vague recollection that Honeycrisp may have been one.


NY is the center of apple production in the entire NE, particularly the Hudson Valley. Used to be a lot in Westchester. Baldwin was the main crop apple until a test winter that killed a lot of them in this region. Cornell recommend they be replaced with Mac.

I don’t think Mac can do well where summers get too hot.


Malted barley syrup before hops are added is about what I imagine a fully ripe Frostbite to taste like. Or like cane syrup made from sugar cane. But I’m looking forward to it. My tree died after I picked that one fruit…so I have another tree now, and we’ll see.


its macs and cortlands that are most grown in Maine. starting to see more macouns/ honeycrisps starting to show up recently.


Opal a close second.


Other favs in that flavor profile would also include GoldRush, Karmijn, Margil and Alkmene. I do like other flavors too. My King David finally kicked out some delightful gems with a touch of water core.


FWIW…My tree ripened Frostbites had zero resemblance to Red Delicious this year. They are about as unique tasting of an apple as I’ve eaten.


Agreed - though Sweet 16, a descendent of Frostbite, is also in the running.

Hoping for similar interesting results from Pipsqueak, another Frostbite offspring. My graft of it will likely bear next season.


I grafted Pipsqueak a couple years ago. Mine is a ways from producing fruit yet


77 Replies and not one Gravenstein. My favorite…


This year my best apple was a Freyberg. It is a Golden Delicious x Cox which is more on the GD side. It is not an easy tree to grow but it comes through with the flavor. Runner-ups were Rubinette and Swayzie. It is hard to pick Swayzie, you need to avoid the ones with green showing at the edges of the russet. If they are not picked late enough they lack sweetness and flavor.

PS here is a Swayzie I just ate … this was an excellent one, sweet nutty and crunchy:

I ate another one before this one, it was more green and was not too exciting.