Apple Tasting for All

The University of Idaho has an orchard in Sandpoint, ID, 20 or so miles from me, and they had an apple tasting a couple weeks ago. A friend and I went. Many apples were OK, some I really liked. Of course, Honeycrisp was the sweetest and crispiest. They had a Hubbardston Nonsuch which I really liked. I had bought a scion this spring, it didn’t grow for me, but my daughter has a limb growing.
I liked Alexander and Tolman Sweet, both crisp and sweet, but the web information says they are not great keepers. I need a tasty keeper. I do have a small Gold Rush limb if it ripens here for me someday.
They had Niedzwetzkyana which looked so pretty and was such a disappointment, it was dry and soft. But after reading about it on here I think I will get a scion just because it looks so pretty and has pink blossoms. Posting a couple photos from the sampling. If anyone has tried these or know how they grow please let me know.
They grow more kinds than they had at the tasting.

Last photo is from my little apple tree that lost its labels a long time ago. The bigger apples are getting soft already, I picked them before I had a hard freeze mid Oct. The smaller ones are still quite firm and good tasting.032


Found a while back, which might be of particular interest to those living in the northeast :slight_smile:

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I really like that one too, it is in its own category of taste unlike nearly all other apples … mild but interesting.

Today’s taste test with a 4 yr old, 5 yr old, my wife (not a big apple fan) and me. Ambrosia, Smitten, Sweet Tango, Lady Alice and Gold Rush.
Smitten was the favorite (sweet and tart). Ambrosia was liked by the kids and my wife but it seemed somewhat bland to me. No one liked the Lady Alice except me (not sweet and tart but interesting tasting to me, anise?). Sweet Tango which was tart and sweet (but not near as sweet as Smitten) and Gold Rush (not fully ripe, not yellow) rated lowest.


I forgot about this thread completely. I did not have time to do apple tasting this year.

@candyflipper tnis thread may be helpful to you.

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I should put together some notes from earlier this year. For now, here’s a couple late season winners.

Winter King is a great high-flavor, high-brix apple. Many are on the small side, but I’m OK with that tradeoff. I’m still picking them now. Maybe in the next few days I’ll get a ladder out and get the ones from the top.

One that is not small is Evercrisp. Great Honeycrisp (one of it’s parent, I think) crunch and higher brix. In the past I’ve seen 18-20 brix (and syrupy sweet), but this year many are in the 15-16 range. Still very good, with a ton of crunch and very juicy.


Evercrisp is a great apple, one of my favorites!

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I picked about 2/3 of what was left of the Winter King. Many have some damage, but still seem to have a good crunch.

@alan Did your Winter King graft ever produce? Any thoughts on this apple? Other than it’s small size I’m not seeing any negatives about this productive, high flavor late season keeper (though I like them enough that I’ll probably eat most before keeping them that long).

I was surprised to find a live grasshopper (?) on one. I wouldn’t have thought that they would still be on the fruit after it has gotten this cold. I found a ladybug on one the other day, so it seems that they are in demand now…

And yes, I’m not a very tidy painter.


I don’t remember getting any Winter King wood from you, so I cannot say. Pretty hard to compare dirty apples but it looks an awful lot like King David which I could describe in the same way. Only KD was ripe a month ago although it did stick on the tree pretty well and hold its texture.

I’m not sure this is a very good year to appraise apples for the long haul although perhaps we can count on a lot of Novembers in the future that allow fruit to ripen until almost Dec. I picked about 150 pounds of late apples yesterday thinking they wouldn’t benefit from staying longer with no warm spells in the 10 day forecast.

And yet, only the Pink Lady’s on the outer branches really got ripe enough to reach the quality I want. There have been seasons where they were riper by late Oct. Spring was early and started warm and sunny enough but then there was a long stretch of cool wet weather that affected the ripening of fruit in ways I’ve not seen before.


It is also known as Winston- maybe that is the name I sent it under in 2019.

I’ve cleaned a few off to give a better pic. Taking a picture in a nice warm sunbeam probably helps show details as well.



This is an apple I leaned about from Stephen Hayes youtube channel.

Making it more impressive is that Winter King is so good even with me letting it overset. I also let Goldrush overset and they are bland and 11 brix…

And not so pretty either…

Maybe Winter King was able to sweeten up because it wasn’t the entire tree, but only maybe 1/4 of it. Other parts of the tree were less heavily loaded, so maybe it was able to steal some energy from other parts.


Yes, I got some very pretty Winston apples that to my palate did not hold a candle to the Jonagold’s (Red Prince) on the tree they were grafted to. It’s coming out next season. To me it is a Red Delicious type.

How surprising that our palates should disagree on this. :wink:

Incidentally, the Winston’s were well spaced.

Did yours look like my Winstons? I’m shocked that you would describe it as like a Red Delicious. If anything, I think people wouldn’t like it because of small size and too much acid, not from being bland. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 18-20 brix RD.

Also, when did you pick them? I would think that Jonnagold would have been quite a while ago (early Oct?).

I was picking the last of my ripe Jonagolds this week- weird year, but Jonagold here usually doesn’t even start to ripen until mid-Oct and does so gradually. I first tasted the Winston a few weeks ago then tasted one while I was harvesting JG this week. It was still crisp but certainly didn’t have any significant acid. Perhaps Winston is on a different grafted branch that didn’t fruit this season, but I thought the label was right by this graft.

I don’t have a very good memory for shapes, so cannot tell you if it looked like your photos, but I left a smaller one on the tree that I can check later, and also look more closely at label locations.

You gave me some wood along with Crunch a Bunch that was supposed to be related with Goldrush, also but whose key virtues was supposed to be as a cooking apple, as I recall. It had two apples, one average sized and the other huge, mostly golden with a lot of attractive red blush, dimpled on the calyx like a Red Delicious and very hard flesh. A pretty good apple and very impressive looking, even with all of its sooty blotch. Looks like a broad shouldered Red Delicious in different a different but very attractive color scheme. I don’t think it is especially good for cooking, though. Tried some cooked pieces and it is not aromatic.

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I just tasted one of my Abbondanza apples:

This apple is similar to Hubbardston Nonesuch in looks and flavor. Some years it has an intense rose flavor, but not this year. They are always aromatic. The one on the right was 16 brix. The name means abundance in Italian, that is because it sets like crazy. It took me many years to finally get to the point where I thinned it enough, and at that point they started sizing up and tasting a lot better. These apples are very large, more like a triploid.

Either this guy or Hubbardston would be a great apple if you have a fair number of varieties, they are nothing like other apples and will be a real treat. I also like them because the older I get the less my stomach likes hard sour apples. These guys are just perfect, nice and firm but not gut-stabbingly firm, nice and sour but not gut-stabbingly sour.


I didn’t thin my Crunch a Bunch either and while some got a bit better than Goldrush at 14 brix, many were in the 10-12 brix range (similar to GR). I need to do a better job on that next year. I don’t think mine blushed much if any, but that could just be covered by the sooty blotch, which is bad similar to Goldrush.

I think the one for cooking is “Baker’s Delight” (which I got at the same time as Crunch a Bunch). Baker’s Delight is a Sweet Sixteen and Goldrush cross. I checked and Crunch a Bunch is actually an open pollinated Honeycrisp, but it is marketed as an “improved Goldrush”. Baker’s Delight was very good for me this year. I see a lot of similarities between it and Sweet Sixtenn, in terms of flavor. I think it may get higher brix than SS and has a bit more “fruitiness” to it.

Part of the reason I’m posting more about apples now is that I’ve basically ignored them for the last 2 month. Once jujubes started to ripen in the 2nd half of September, they filled the spot that apples would, as they are similar to apples but better (1.5X to 3X the brix, depending on cultivar and no need for spray or thinning). In the last week, I’ve finally run out of jujubes on the trees (just picking a few figs and persimmons now), so I’m checking to see what is left of apples. The Evercrisp, WInter King, Golden Russet and an unknown limbertwig (24 brix today, which is almost up to a run of the mill jujube) are all quite good.

I’ll believe that jujubes are better once you manage to harvest 200 pounds of them from the equivalent of an average sized apple tree (as grown commercially as a free standing tree). And make me a jujube pie as good as apple.

Most of my straight apple eating is done from Oct. thru Nov. I have so much good frozen fruit after a good harvest that I’m not much into eating apples by themselves. Sometimes sliced on a nutbutter sandwich.

I just finished up making my last batch of very thick plum sauce- very lightly cooked.

I don’t think jujube production will be up to what apples produce. But I’m more interested in quality over quantity (another reason I need to thin apples, pears, and stonefruit more). The two most productive jujube trees I had this year made 10-12 pounds of fruit, though they are probably smaller than a full-size apple. One is a 2011 So in my yard which is 10-12’ in every direction (almost a large bush) and a 2017 Sugar Cane at a rental which is ~8’ wide and 10’ tall (14’ before the top flopped over with fruit). Many of my jujube trees are still pretty young and are increasing in yields. This is the first year that I went from late Sept into early Nov without any gaps or shortages in production. With over 90 trees planted (about half at rentals), which seems like a lot, but many cultivars aren’t very productive at all, so this is very much a learning experience. Even so, I may eventually need to bring fruit to farmers markets if productivity continues to increase (even from year #7 to 10 was quite a jump).

But even at 10-12 pounds in a 10 year old tree, it is pretty far behind other fruit. My Korean Giant Asian pear produced over 50 pounds this year. I don’t know how much it made in past years, as most would get stolen by animals. But this year I tried out a thick white-mesh net on it and it seems to have stopped the losses. I’ve been meaning to put out a post on it…

I think some of the people on the forum have been making things out of jujube, but I greatly prefer almost all fruit fresh. I’ll keep an eye out for posts about jujube pie.

If you are a sweet apple fan, you may like Baker’s Delight for fresh eating. This year, mine have tasted really good and they smell very nice. I think they smell like clove. I gave them to several people, most loved it and picked it out over other varieties I gave them.

@SMC_zone6 was the only one who was not impressed by Baker’s Delight. Steven is a tart apple fan and loves Suncrisp.

I ate Suncrisp side by side with Crunch A Bunch. Their taste and texture is similar but Crunch A Bunch is a bit sweeter (or Suncrisp is a bit more tart). Suncrisp appears to have more complex flavor.


Bob, are your trees suffering from Marsoninna leaf blotch and early defoliation?. My next door neighbor loves Goldrush and had a bumper crop, but he is an organic grower and his crop was good only for sauce, I think because his two trees have been without leaves for about two months- I gifted him with about 50 pounds of my synthetically sprayed Goldrush this morning as a get well present since he just suffered a heart attack and couldn’t come down here to pick his own (he’s a wonderful friend). . When you said 14 brix I went down and pulled up a Goldrush apple from my stash of recently picked and it was 20 brix.

I have adequately controlled that defoliation with two summer sprays, one in early July and the other in early Aug- one more in late Aug and it won’t be a problem at all. I use a mix of Captan and Myclo or Indar, even though that hasn’t been the recommended material for it, but the SI’s tend to have kickback and can’t be washed off the trees. More importantly, the combination has worked.


My suncrisp was on the tart side first time fruiting. Hopefully will pick up more sugar. Still wish I had crunch a bunch but I’m not going to pay for it again. Going to graft more sweeter apples in and try more longer storage apples.
Edit my wife did not like suncrisp she liked my auvil Fuji

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