Best tasting apples

In my area, apples sold in the store taste different than the same cultivar grown at home. Generally the ones grown at home taste better but there are a few exceptions. For example, Fuji grown in my yard was just way too sweet for my tastes.

Also there is the other reality of some fruits (a few apples, many pit fruits, some others) that have a “crop name” in the stores but in reality are a collection of successively ripening cultivars. To make things more confusing for consumers (and home orchardists), sometimes the “crop name” is also the name of one of the cultivars. :smile:


Richard in Kansas our climate has a tendency to ripen everything before it’s time so I think the Hauer Pippin may be a good one for winter storage They say it will not ripen in many climates but is grown frequently in California. Are you familiar with it? That surprised me when you said Fuji was not great there I figured many came from there.

I grew many California-bred apples and so far only Waltana is a keeper. So, I stopped trying them out. The conditions there are quite a bit different. Anyway worth a try at least! I had Hauer Pippin at some point but it died.

Heres my current faves list. Its ever-evolving though…

1)	Hooples Antique Gold
2)	Gold Rush	
3)	Suncrisp
4)	Rubinette
5)	Pitmaston Pineapple
6)	Adam’s Pearmain
7)	Blenheim Orange
8)	Ashmead's Kernel
9)	Freyburg
10)	Reine des Reinettes
11)	Mother
12)	Kidds Orange Red
13)	Nonpareil
14)	Newtown Pippin
15)	Swayzie
16)	Bonne Hotture
17)	Pomme Gris
18)	American Golden Russet aka Bullock
19)	White Winter Pearmain
20)	Black Limbertwig
21)	Golden Nugget
22)	Maigold
23)	Abbondanza
24)	Wagener	
25)	Hawaii

@scottfsmith do you grow Wickson? The Ettersburg apples are ones i’m interested in, There are several from the California area that are reportedly good for a variety of reasons. This was an interesting link The Ettersburg Apple Legacies

I grew it for over ten years, up until a few months ago. Its a unique apple, very sweet with more clear flesh and what to me tastes something like apricot. But it had lots of problems including cracking badly and I also could not find anything to do with it - the flesh is very hard and you only want to eat a couple to avoid a stomach ache. It didn’t cook very well either, too hard-fleshed again.

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Since you grow Waltana it seemed like you would likely grow Wickson. Hopefully Wickson will do better here. Waltana sounds excellent! If I can get Kingston Black to produce I will see if I can make a good hard cider from it and wickson or my seedling crabapples.

What I said was the Fuji grown in home orchards is too sweet compared to those in the supermarket; i.e., the fruit in the store is picked prior to peak but at that point the sweetness is about right for most tastes.


Today I added the apples Seek no Further, Ashmeads kernel, Rome, 39th parallel, Enterprise, Fameuse, Black twig on mm111


My apples are finally kicking in as my orchard is now old enough and protected enough against ravaging hoards of you name it. Barring disaster, I’ll taste about 40 new varieties this year. Up to now, my favorites list includes apples mentioned here with one addition. In rough order of my favorites from last season (first season for most on this list:

Orlean’s Reinette
Golden Russet
Claygate Pearmain - high quality and productive in a fairly difficult climate (late frosts are common)
Newtown Pippin - like Claygate P., also productive and a more regular cropper than most out here
Esopus Spitzenburg
Pixie Crunch

I fruited a further 15 or so last year, but some only gave me one or two fruits, so I can’t properly evaluate them.


Matrix - do you know if Red Pacific is a relative of Pacific Rose?

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uppppppppps, sorry, I meant pacific rose

Many experts still say Rubinette is the best tasting apple We will see how it does in Kansas.

In my view, the best tasting fruit is the one that is ripe.


We grow over a 1,000 varieties of apples and when i am asked what is my favorite it is easy to say whatever is ripe at the moment .

Now in fruit growing location matters also so something that tastes fantastic in the NE may taste horrible to someone in the southern states or out west. We (Hocking Hills Orchard) are located in SE Ohio.

But if I had to limit myself to just a bakers dozen or so I would pick in no particular order these as my favorites for taste:
Blue Pearmain - shy bearer but so worth the effort! we do not sell any of these but keep all the fruit for ourselves.
Kentucky Limbertwig - the best tasting of the Limbertwigs by far.
Tomkins County King - great taste on large fruit
Moyer’s Spice - a variety I take to every grafting class I give, actually tastes like its name.
Etter’s Gold - to me one of Albert Etter’s best tasting varieties, very prolific
Ashmead’s Kernal - really intense flavor and another one where I hoard the fruit
Akero - dessert variety from Sweden with a great taste

for red fleshed varieties my favorites are:
Pink Pearl
Red Devil - British variety that is our new favorite red fleshed variety
Derek’s Pink Dream (wife convinced me to name one after myself due to my apple obsession)

for cider my favorites are:
Kingston Black
Golden Russet
Newtown Pippin
and Binet Violet which I call the lazy mans apple, it barely grows and barely produces but makes some of the best hard cider!


1000 varieties? O…m…g…


My wife says the same thing . Last year she asked me what my end state goal was and I said I am still relatively young and think I should be able to keep grafting and planting new trees for at least 30 more years.

She gave me an eye roll at that and walked off!


Thank you Derek that’s very helpful. Thanks to everyone who commented I really appreciate the suggestions. Seems like a few are consistently popular so hopefully I planted or grafted a few good ones this year. Maybe next year I can plant a few more.


Interesting you list Blue Permain. I understand this is a great apple in the New England climate, but have heard that it does not do as well in hotter areas, including the Mid-Atlantic and - I’ve been assuming - much of the rest of the U.S.

It was Thoreau’s favorite apple.

Matt, I have been back and forth on Blue Pearmain many times but I never added it. I have heard mixed reports on it, not sure why. Burford was positive about it in his book if I recall, and he is in Virginia. I probably would try it now but its an early apple and under my minimal spray regimen most of those rot. Tompkins County King is another apple I keep hearing about poor performance in warmer climes and never tried. My orchard in particular seems hard on those kinds, its on a steep south hill and gets very hot mid-day.

Thats interesting to hear you like Kentucky Limbertwig the most, Derek. I have not heard much on that one but I grafted it this spring because hambone threw a scion into a batch he sent me. I can’t let a good scion go to waste :slightly_smiling: I got some really nice Black Limbertwig this last year and its gotten me more interested in the Limbertwigs. I have grown Myers Royal Limbertwig for years, its a perfectly fine apple but not one of my favorites.

I agree the Limbertwig family of apples merits wider planting, grafting, tasting. It seems everybody has a different favorite limbertwig, which makes me think the LT family must be loaded with goodies. Here are favorites I have read or heard about: Black LT, Kentucky LT, Royal LT, Red Royal LT, Caney’s Fork LT, Swiss LT, Victoria LT.

Ron Joyner at Big Horse Nursery says he finds that most limbertwigs grow well from mountain to coastal plain and have a good deal of disease resistance.

Would love to some day get my hands on a copy of Rev. Morton’s limbertwig sales catalog.

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