Apples enjoyed by famous people

I have been reading lots about apples lately and have found that a lot of older and tasty varieties have been enjoyed by famous people from history!

The Spitzenburg was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite.

Black Gilliflower (Sheepnose) was Ben Franklin’s favorite

Blacktwig was Andrew Jackon’s favorite

Newtown Pippin was George Washington’s favorite

I am sure there are plenty more historical or famous people that have a known favorite. So does anyone else know more varieties that would be interesting to know that they were a favorite of someone famous or historical?

Some of this information was found out from an apple list I received from @derekamills and I am very grateful for the information :+1:


I also noticed that the Decio apple is a very old variety that is linked to the Roman Empire. Also some information from @derekamills.

Any other varieties that might have been eaten by famous or historical people or even something just of historical sigificance like the Decio?

Such a cool thing that I had never given much thought to until I really started reading about different apple cultivars!

Also reading now that Thomas Jefferson also had a couple other favorite apples, the Albermarle Pippin and Ralls Genet. So I guess he for sure was an apple eater :joy:

None of the claims of “favorite apples” are well documented, but they are fun.

I have it on good authority that Folk legend Doc Watson’s favorite apple was the Virginia Beauty. On his way home at the end of a fall concert tour, he always stopped by the same orchard store and picked up a bushel of them.

Occasionally, you will hear that the Blue Pearmain was Thoreau’s favorite apple. That is based on a passage in Thoreau’s essay “Wild apples.” In the essay, however, he condemns cultivated apples and only admits that the BP is “almost as good as wild” and that he does “not refuse the Blue-Pearmain.”

I’ve also been interested in which states have designated official state apples. Only a few states have them. Ohio’s is the Melrose. Rhode Island’s is, no surprise, the Rhode Island Greening. West Virginia’s is the Golden Delicious. Tennessee’s is the Black Twig. Goldrush fairly recently became the state apple of Illinois. Poor Haralson – it was Minnesota’s state apple until it was replaced by the Honeycrisp.


I liked Doc Watson’s music…so maybe the Va. Beauty I grafted this spring I will like also.
Put it on Antonovka I think…and on B9 but that graft failed.
May have to wait awhile to sample the apples.


I am from Tennessee and this year I have a Blacktwig grafted to Bud118 and a couple other grafts of it as well. I don’t believe that I knew it was the state apple but it is cool to know that know after the fact!