Soft apples

I know from reading a lot of cultivar descriptions there are quite a few soft textured apples. Mainly old cultivars. Seems a bit alien to me but of course I’m brainwashed with current cultural expectations. When I think about it and start to say yuck; I then realize I let my dislike of chewy, rubbery apples take over. So. Are there soft apples anyone likes? And why. Help me get past a bias.


I’ve had Rome and McIntosh I’ve liked. They tasted good and I enjoyed eating them. It’s fine if other people don’t. I won’t lose sleep over it.

I really do enjoy when an apple just melts in my mouth. It’s a different experience than the crisp and juicy apples that seem to be the only desirable ones nowadays. Not sure of specific cultivars cause the only one like that I currently have is just a wild seedling. Soft doesn’t have to mean chewy or rubbery. A naturally soft apple isn’t the same as a grocery store apple that’s “soft” from being in storage for a year.


II do not mind a softer apple, such as a Rome, McIntosh, Jonathan. My family and I do not like mealy apples. My horse will take one bite of a mealy apple and just let it drop, even they will not eat them.


My wife and I like Reinette du Canada or Canadian Reinette

I haven’t tasted a Rome apple in years, but it used to be my mother’s favorite baker. It is hardly grown in my region any more and never was a big hit given that I don’t tend a single one in the many old orchards I manage, many with apple trees more than a century old.

However, Macintosh became NYs number one apple after a test winter killed many Baldwin apple trees- that’s approaching a century ago. Cornell recommended it as a replacement because it is a tough variety that tends to bear crops of good fruit every year. When people suggest it’s a soft apple they aren’t talking about the apple as it is harvested. There are foamy apples and dense flesh apples but I I don’t know of any varieties that are soft off the trees. Macintosh has a special crunch that its genetics provides to Macoun. Jontahon is plenty crunchy off the tree as well. Both quickly soften in common storage as does Cortlandt- another apple that was quite popular here when I first arrived almost 40 years ago. .

By soft, are we really talking about trees whose texture rapidly softens in storage? There are quite a few apples that fit that description. For all of them, I prefer eating them out of hand crisp, so sign me up with the majority.

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I was thinking of cultivars that come off the tree perfectly ripened and fresh off the tree soft. But did not excluding softening in storage as seems a must with some brick bat apples. Some of which likely could be thrown through a brick wall.

Seems like many of the " {insert name} sweet" apples are soft. Delicious tends to be near soft like Cortland. There are curious dry sweet air ball apples that are described as soft.

Yellow Transparent and others derived from Russian genetics for earliness tend to be foam. Those have fallen out of favor. They are pretty low brix.

The only apple I’ve heard described as excessively hard is Ark Black, but let’s not get carried away- you couldn’t throw it through heavy plastic. I do not find it excessively hard right off the tree so I guess I’m OK with hard.

I was at a NAFEX meeting one year trying some experimental apples. We were tasting a very flavorful and very soft apple and i got a few chuckles when I suggested naming it Arkansauce. The joke may have derived from it coming out of an Arkansas breeding program based on some memory fumes wafting around the chambers of my brain.


Other apples that I enjoy having a softer texture than is currently popular: Strawberry Parfait, Doctor Matthews, Livland/Lowland Raspberry.

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I like to get carried away to emphasize some things.

I went to the Geneva NY USDA apple Germplasm orchard tour back in Sept and found an apple I really liked that was very soft

PRI 1346-2

USDA lists it as “cream firm flesh” - it reminded me of a pear, is a golden delicious child, and is the opposite of Honeycrisp

I was going to graft it in the spring


Gheez. Go on a tour and they give you wood? Live too far away and tough luck even when you pay shipping? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

No this was a tour and in Sept so nothing was dormant; no one got any wood.

You can request it from USDA in Geneva and TOC also has it