Lets talk taste, especially sweetness

Yes that is kind of how I look at it. Without huge amounts of land and unlimited space I don’t think it’s dedicate entire trees to these early bloomers. Especially if I was counting on them as a necessary food source. But I’ve grafted many onto my existing trees hoping that on any given year I’ll get some to enjoy. You never know, they could get frozen out 3 years in a row and then go on a producing streak of 4-5 years. You just have to keep your expectations in check.


Can I take a moment here and not only say thank you, but just marvel at what an incredible community we have here. That 8 or 9 people would all take a few minutes out of their life just to help a fellow fruit grower try to find just the right fruit to suit him (both in terms of taste and grow-ability) is remarkable to me. Even when your tastes run counter to my own, you’ve tried to share what you to know to help me, and I sincerely appreciate it. I am literally preparing a new tree order today based 100% on the information contained it this thread-and if you’ve read or contributed to it you already know which trees I’m going to add!

I also find it interesting how much our tastes differ. I think my own tastes are different from most, but that’s ok. I have often seen comments here from people “complaining” that a particular fruit has very little flavor distinction other than extreme sweetness, or that a certain fruit is “too sweet”. Those actually sound great to me! I guess that’s why I prefer candy to potato chips as a snack- we’re all different. Same with texture. Many people sing praises about a fruit (like @speedster1 above) because of it’s crispness/crunchiness whereas that’s a bit of a negative for me. In fact, I lost a lot of fruit from my “Dragon Tear” (my strange-story pluot) because I would try to let them hang on the tree until the went soft, and I’d wait so long that there was a very short window in the end between them going sour/rotting and hitting that softness I love. But those that made it that soft stage- HOLY COW they were incredible!!! Perhaps I’d have had better luck letting them soften on the counter as suggested by @fruitgrower and @alan .

Last but not least, some of you mentioned some fruits I’d either never heard of or had forgotten about, but which I’m now probably going to try. I have a fair amount of space at my place, and since this is my only hobby that costs money, I don’t mind buying a few more trees here and there. Also, this will be my 5th year since I started my little orchard, and I already have identified a few trees that are going to get their last chance to impress me this year or face the ax ! (well, shovel. haha). I suspect some of you can relate.

Thanks again for the great responses!


I am growing Flavor Queen Pluot also but I am not so thrilled with the flavor. Yes, it has extremely high sugar content but mine were sour near the pits and the skin was both sour and becomes more and more bitter the longer you chew on it. I have to remove the skin to find them palatable and even then I can’t get over the sour flesh at the pit. Kind of like downing a mixture of lemon juice and corn syrup. Strangely enough the ones that I bought from the local farmer’s market looked identical to mine but were fairly bland in all respects. Perhaps my growing conditions are affecting the flavor.

On the other hand I found the Parfume De Septembre mirabelle plums to be absolutely fantastic. Very sweet and slightly crunchy, reminiscent of eating candied cherries. Not even the slightest hint of acid or bitterness so common in Asian plums. I am now in the process of adding three more mirabelle cultivars and a number of other Eropean plums for comparison.

Plums are flowering today. Flavor Queen in the front, Hollywood are the pink ones in the back. European plums are still sleeping.


I wonder if I could tag on to this thread and ask about the sweetest apples to grow. My kids are big fans of Honeycrisp, but I’ve heard Honeycrisp aren’t too successful grown in the Deep South (zone 8a).

Any other apples with mostly sweet and hardly any tart flavors that might be more successful here?

Not that you need it at this point but I’ll add that yes letting stone fruit soften on the counter is a great idea. It has always worked well for me and it is a great way to extend the harvest - fresh consumtion period. Put some in the fridge for a few day and then pull them out to soften a week later to further extend this process.


For pure sweet with no acid it’s hard to beat fuji

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@VSOP Here’s a list of the sweet apples that I’m growing/experimenting with in zone 7B Maryland. Most have not fruited yet so I can’t say much:

Keepsake (some prefer it to its progeny Honeycrisp) , Dula’s Beauty, Williams Pride, Hooples Antique Gold, Keener Seedling, Husk Sweet, Kentucky Limbertwig, Summer Buff, Milo Gibson (20 brix by one grower), Caney Fork LT, Red Royal LT, Victoria (aka Sweet) LT, Swiss LT, Hauer Pippin (after storage), Sundance, Myers Royal Lt, Virginia Beauty, Junaluska, Hall, Yates and Liberty which is sweet under certain conditions I gather.

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It can also be stored in a mere rootcellar until Spring and be as good as the day it was picked off the tree.

Suzanne Joyner at Big Horse Creek Farm tells me that Husk Sweet is the sweetest of their many varieties, and her favorite.

Yeah that’s why I grafted it. I have not seen it favorably reviewed though by others, usually the opposite, so we shall see.

Sweet apple with zero tart makes me think Tolman Sweet

I had a great graft of Husk Sweet going this summer but then the deer munched it to death. You guys will have to tell me how good it is.

If you want super sweet I agree with @Vohd that Coe’s Golden Drop is the ticket - its off the charts. I have had far too many rot problems on it though.

I’m intrigued by super sweet Milo Gibson apple (scions sold by Fedco). I won’t get to taste it for a couple years but it was named for the fruit explorer and co-founder of NAFEX shortly after his death. Three NAFEX luminaries grew the apple before deciding to name it for Milo: Prof. Elwyn Meader, Fred Ashworth and Robert Kurle. Those three knew their apples so I’m guessing it’s pretty good.

Milo discovered this apple growing wild-most likely in Oregon as he gave it the original name of Linwood, a neighborhood in Portland, OR. This story given to me by Bill McKentley retired nurseryman, close friend of Fred Ashworth.

It tastes of licorice to some people. One of Milo’s other finds in the wild was Sunflower pawpaw in Kansas I believe.

Thank you all for your great sweet apple recommendations. Definitely something to look at for my kids.

ETA: Has anyone tried Splendour? From what I’ve read, it’s crisp and sweet with little acid. Plus, it supposedly has the best fireblight resistance of any apple the USDA has tested.

I grow Splendour. It’s crisp and sweet if the fruits are not shaded. I noticed that those grown in shade do not color up and are bland. They are also very light. You can eat a few in one sitting without feeling full. I don’t recall having FB issue with it but then FB is not an issue here for apples except on Pink Lady.


You’re right about the FB resistance. One of my former neighbors was one of the govt FB testers and he told me Splendour tested the highest resistance. Have not tasted it.


Pound Sweet is one that is supposed to be devoid of acid, I believe. Supposedly it is a kid’s fave of heirlooms, as I recall. When I was at my sisters, her Gordon’s were unbelievably sweet off the tree and looked like supermarket apples without any spray in coastal N. CA. It is a low chill apple that can still be grown in a wide range of climates, but Richard and Seed Savers F,B and N inventory say it has a balance of acid and sugar. This makes me wonder if my sister has a true to name Gordon. Whatever it is, its fruit was sugar last season- almost Fuji-like.

Hudson’s Golden Gem is a sturdy, elongated, smoothly-russetted apple that to my taste had basically no acid; it grew well in NH; I see it listed as Z3-9 so might or might not work where you are.

I agree. I haven’t found it to be very productive here in SE NY, though. It is also a coddling moth magnet here- they seem to like low acid-high sugar also.

Gala is a sweet apple and a kid favorite.