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Apple Taste-off: Honeycrisp vs. Pink Lady

After all the talk on the board about honeycrisps, I had to find some, and while I was at it, I bought some nice pink lady apples, too. The honeycrisps were organic from Michigan while the pink ladies were non-organic from North Carolina (considered "local" to my area). I purchased them from Earth Fare after the apples from a local produce stand proved to be a washout. Both were perfectly crisp with similarly fine textures, but I have to give the nod to the pink ladies. In comparison to the honeycrisps, the pink ladies were simultaneously both sweeter and tarter, with a more concentrated burst of flavor. Actually, the pink ladies were among the best apples I've ever tasted and much better than other examples of the same variety I've sampled before. The honeycrisps were really good, too, and only suffered in comparison to the pink ladies. I'd have to say there were no real losers in my very unscientific taste-off.

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  1. I haven't tried any of the pink ladies, but I am addicted to the honeycrisps. Unfortunately, the only place near NYC that I can find honeycrisps is at a farmers market in Jersey City (the apples come from their farm in Sussex County, NJ). I also love that they are the size of softballs. I have to look out for the pink ladies now.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MrsT

      I'll be looking for Pink Ladies too. I find that the Honey Crisp is worlds better if you can get them from the grower, but they're gone so fast. I bought some at an orchard a couple of weekends ago, and really rationed them, but toward the end they'd lost some flavor. They seem not to keep well.

      1. re: Pat Hammond

        Grace's Marketplace at Third Ave & 71st has honeycrisps...the really big ones....also the Food Emporium at 68th & Third has honeycrisps...they're smaller & actually I prefer the smaller ones.

      2. re: MrsT

        I saw Honeycrisps at the Food Emporium on 14th by Union Square. $3.99/lb or so. I'm not sure if any of the vendors have them at the Farmer's Market (Union Square), but it might be worth a look. I like a good Fuji apple myself.

        HoneyCrisp: http://www.stoneridgeorchard.com/appl...

        Fuji: http://www.wisegeek.com/images/fuji-a...

        1. No contest for me, I tolerate Pink Lady, I love Honeycrisp! Although I do agree that the ones bought in mass market stores aren't as good as ones from smaller markets...usually I can't really tell the difference, but I can with Honeycrisps.

          1. Went to Homestead Farms (Potomac, MD) for pick-your-own apples yesterday and walked off with some amazing Pink Lady (beautiful and ultra crunchy) and Early Pink Lady (ugly but incredibly delicious and crunchy, with a floral note) apples. Far better than anything I'm finding in the supermarkets, even WF.

            If you have the option of finding Early Pink Lady apples, they were terrific!

            1. honeycrisps & pink ladies are actually my favorite varieties of apples. (chestnut crabs as well). I think that whatever is fresher & more local will likely taste the best! I'll jump on either of these grown locally, and pink ladies from WA when our local honeycrisps are gone.

              1. I'm just back from Washington state and can say the local Honeycrisps there exceeded my best memories of them. Crisp, juicy, full of flavor.

                I had both organic and non-organic versions, and the organic was a little sweeter and a little less tart. I say this mainly to point out that there are different levels of tartness even within the same variety. I actually preferred the taste of the non-organic ones, and they would be better for baking.

                1. I've been having a blast sampling all the different apple varieties at my local market and at Whole Foods! from my 'research' I've found that the Honeycrisps are satisfyingly crisp and have just the right amount of sweetness, the Macouns are also very very crisp and a little tart, Fujis are the sweetest and almost as crisp as Honeycrisps, and Ambrosias (my favorite) are wonderfully sweet, slightly tart and very crisp all at the same time. I LOVE THIS SEASON!

                  1. I'm in Southern California and bought my first honeycrisps from Pavilions over the weekend. Sad to say, they are good but not what I was expecting based on the raves on this board. The texture is great but the taste seems on the diluted side - there isn't that burst of intense flavor I was expecting. I guess I live too far away from the source? To my taste, fuji apples are still the best.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: monkuboy

                      Try the organic ones from Bristol Farms or Whole Foods (but hurry!) I bought some from Ralphs and they were pretty eh. The other ones are my idea of a perfect apple, tart/sweet crisp. And a pretty color to boot!

                    2. Yep. Those Earth Fare local Pink Ladies are spectacular. Better the organic Pink Ladies from I'm not sure where that I paid !!! 3.99 /lb. !!! for at Whole Foods. Did you get those at EF in G'ville or Asheville, or do they have those in Charleston, too?

                      Sorry to hear the farm stand search didn't go well. I'm looking at a teeny pink lady from the guy near my house. Smaller than a tennis ball...i like the little ones.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: danna

                        Danna, sorry for the late reply. It was the Earth Fare in Mt. Pleasant. The produce guy there was very nice. I started talking to him about their apples, and he ran to the back to bring me some Pink Ladies, which weren't on display yet. I've gone back since then to buy some more.

                        I've also been enjoying the crazy selection of local apples that Whole Foods has been featuring--Arkansas Blacks, Crispins, Winesaps, Yorks, Rome Beauties, Ambrosias, and more. But no Pink Ladies strangely.

                      2. man - Iike them both but I think if I had to choose it'd be the Honeycrisp...yummm

                        1. I like apples, some are sweet, some are tart, varity - what ever. At break time with several other people I tried my first Pink Lady (they were on sale) I said out loud " Wow! This is a good apple!" Not the kind of thing I do. Just couldn't help my self.