My one & only Ashmeads Kernel

I only got one Ashmeads Kernel this season.

It is THE best most flavorful apples I have ever eaten.

I refrigerated it for 13 days but couldn’t hold out tonight.

It was juicy, so very sweet and a fantastic sweet sourness along with a flavor I can’t really describe other than “DELISH”.

However, there were these darker areas throughout the flesh. These darker were the same consistency as the rest only their color differed.

Does anyone have an idea what these are?



Michael, it was a pleasure reading your description. Even though I don’t know your face, I could form a picture of your unfettered enjoyment. If it was as you said, both very sweet with a pleasant tartness to accompany the sweetness, then the only thing missing was an extra slice for me.

Here’s to having more of the same each year for many years to come.

Those darker areas where the flesh is clear are sorbitol deposits, the condition is called watercore. Can be caused by nutrient imbalance, like calcium deficiency, or by sunscald.
I am seeing this in some of my Cox OP, mostly on the exposed sunny cheek.


Sorbitol… Wow a great tasting apple that is also lower calorie. :slight_smile:

More importantly, the watercore in this apple did not have a negative effect on the eating quality of this particular apple.

I understand that for commercial growers this could be a problem. On this forum I have heard that some are ripping trees out because of watercore.

But for us who eat our own what negative effect does watercore have?


Apples don’t keep as long with watercore, and depending on the variety it can set the flavor back. This year I found my Holsteins were mostly ruined by watercore, they turned into bland balls of mush. I have had other varieties ruined like that as well. For many apples it is minor and does not make a lot of difference. In Japan watercore is desirable - kind of like botrytis on grapes.

I have had Honeycrisps with significant watercore and they tasted nasty to me.

I see said the blind man…

But, understanding that I am dealing with a statistically irrelevant sampling of ONE apple, for my AK it did not have a bad effect.

I can’t wait till next year for another bite at the apple.


It can be an acceptable defect at the lesser end of the spectrum, and even beneficial if you are making hard cider and want some residual sweetness, since the yeasts don’t digest sorbitol either. At the extreme end of watercore, flavor and texture are both affected, and it ain’t in a good way.


Sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good and with this apple I might have gotten very lucky.

But, that AK was fantastic.

I am actually surprised at myself for my own reaction.

Almost like the high school kid who got his dream date! :grin:


I have some water core showing up in my Haralson apples this year. I know Honeycrisp is very prone to it. It seems larger apples are more prone to have it than smaller apples and some varieties (Honeycrisp) are more susceptible to it too.

I agree that the water core tissue does seem to taste sweeter. No big deal for me as my apples will not be stored long term. I guess the problem depends on how bad the water core is. A small amount is ok, but I have tried to eat Red Delicious that had it real bad and the flavor was not good. I suppose it depends on how far
advanced the water core is.

I just ate my one and only AK just now and had to post that it is THE BEST fruit I have ever tasted in my life! Wow! Comp!ex with sugary sweetness is what came to my mind while enjoying each bite. It’s an ugly light brown color with rough skin, but to me that just added to the unexpected charm of this apple. Thank you Mr. Ashmead for this unbelievable find!

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I had an Ashmead’s once - around Oct or Nov - that really knocked my socks off.

Congratulations to you on growing your own gourmet apple! Hopefully you’ll get many more in the years to come.

Thanks Matt, I appreciate that. I was going to hold out a while longer on eating this single apple since I have heard it’s flavor improves in storage. About a month ago as I was walking through my backyard orchard I noticed it lying on the ground under the tree. The tree was encased by a circle of fence, so a deer may have unsuccessfully tried to take it. It has been in my basement fridge until today, when I saw it while packing in my haul of Liberty apples. I didn’t want to wait anymore, and man, I still can’t get over how scrumptious that apple was. I even called my wife at work to tell her about it, and saved a bite for her. She liked it a lot too.

I’ve never eaten a single water cored apple that had some nasty after taste. It is almost always an indication of high sugar- which is why the Japanese value it, I’m pretty sure.

I’m with the Japanese- water core is good. At lest as long as you have plenty of apples without it to eat in Feb and Mar. I’ve had watercored Fuji last well into January.

Perhaps these funky water cored apples are a product of higher heat than what we have in NY State. I taste quite a few watercored apples here every season.

One would be a bonanza for me.Yup, didn’t get any. Read somewhere
they are a biennial bearer. Well, there is always next year. Actually I think
my tree is on M111 and is 8 years old. I will probably graft some on
surplus G30 and G202 I have.

Tuffa, My AK is on Bud9 and in third leaf. I may have had more than 1 but the tree had blossom blight this spring that I had to eradicate. Essentially my central leader tree became open center.