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In search of an apple . . .

CindyJ Nov 13, 2006 06:39 PM

This is the time of year when the farm stands are loaded with a gazillion varieties of apples. I'm trying to identify a variety that is tart, firm, crisp and juicy, but with a skin that's not tough like the skin of a Granny Smith. Is there such a variety?

  1. s
    Seldomsated Nov 15, 2006 05:19 PM

    One more vote for the awesome Pink Lady! They are not as tart as Granny Smith by any means, but they have the most beautifully fine textured flesh, crispy with the right amount of juice! And the skin is not thick at all.

    1. k
      KevinB Nov 14, 2006 10:58 PM

      Northern Spy gets my vote. Tart, crunchy, and with what I think is real apple texture (I find Red Delicious almost like cardboard by comparison). The only trouble is, it's very hard to find them!

      1. y
        Yaxpac Nov 14, 2006 09:10 PM

        i second the macouns recommendation...

        1. LindaWhit Nov 14, 2006 05:51 PM

          I recently picked up some Opalescents at Wilson Farms in Lexington, MA and they've become my new favorite....humongous in size, nice snap when you bite into them (but not tough skin), start out sweet, and then some tarty tanginess at the end. Wonderful!

          1. m
            mark Nov 14, 2006 12:15 PM

            i like arkansas blacks in place of granny smiths.


            1 Reply
            1. re: mark
              Ruth Lafler Nov 15, 2006 04:29 PM

              Yeah, but Arkansas Blacks definitely don't meet the criteria of not being tough-skinned. Great flavor, but both the skin and the flesh are tough, and I find them somewhat dry.

              I just want to second the suggestions for Macouns, Jonagolds and Pink Ladies (in that order).

            2. j
              jenn Nov 14, 2006 03:40 AM

              this week we bought Pink Ladies and something that sounds like Orin. I like the pink ladies for tart tatin---better flavor than fujis and hold up nicely to the cooking. Arkansaw blacks are also very tasty.

              awfully neat link. Makes me feel a bit apple deprived, I must say......

              1. k
                koriekiss Nov 13, 2006 11:22 PM

                I usually buy pink ladies for my household. Couldn't find them this week when shopping but did buy a variety I had never heard off called Lady Alice. Crisp,Sweet,Tart and Juicy!

                1. s
                  shauben2007 Nov 13, 2006 11:11 PM

                  I vote Stamen Winesap Tart/Sweet/Juicy, my fav. apple by far.


                  1. Pei Nov 13, 2006 11:09 PM

                    I thought of another possibility: the mutsu?

                    1. r
                      RiJaAr Nov 13, 2006 10:14 PM

                      there is such an apple but i can't tell you what its called, we used to grow them on the farm... sweet-tart , crisp, and very big.. i miss them *sighs*

                      1. i
                        ira Nov 13, 2006 08:43 PM

                        Jonagold also meets the qualifications.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ira
                          Pei Nov 13, 2006 10:05 PM

                          I like the Jonagold as well, and I'll add the Empire to this growing list. I don't have a whole lot of experience with apples, but the empires I've had this year seem light for their size, meaning a lot of "air" and crisp to the bite.

                        2. m
                          Mr. Cookie Nov 13, 2006 07:35 PM

                          The Honeycrisp variety, grown in Washington state, among other places, is an almost unbeatable combination of the traits you describe.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Mr. Cookie
                            fauchon Nov 13, 2006 07:37 PM

                            2nd Honeycrisp!!

                            1. re: fauchon
                              Karl S Nov 13, 2006 08:17 PM

                              Honeycrisp is *not* a tart apple. It's sweet-tart, in between. For people who like sweet apples, it may seem tart, but it's not really a tart apple.

                              1. re: Karl S
                                prunefeet Nov 14, 2006 04:20 PM

                                I agree

                            2. re: Mr. Cookie
                              Infomaniac Nov 13, 2006 08:41 PM

                              3rd Honeycrisp

                            3. HillJ Nov 13, 2006 07:32 PM

                              Macoun apples-smaller, light red to light green thin skin, crisp, juicy, very short fall season. Could it be Macoun?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: HillJ
                                Anna B Nov 13, 2006 10:58 PM

                                Those are the best fresh apples, by far. And they meet all the criteria of CindyJ

                              2. ipsedixit Nov 13, 2006 07:32 PM

                                I stick to Fujis, but I know that is not what you are looking for ... so here's a list that should help you find your holy grail of apples ...


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  Lauran Robertson Nov 13, 2006 07:42 PM

                                  That is really a wonderful link. It matches my opinion that a Gala apple is a sweet apple. I like a sweet apple and I like Galas.

                                  Have you tried pippins? They are easy to find and might be what you are looking for.

                                  1. re: Lauran Robertson
                                    Karl S Nov 13, 2006 08:19 PM

                                    Pippins are not easy to find everywhere. I'd love to find them easier here in Massachusetts, where we are blessed with many wonderful heirloom apples that people elsewhere have a hard time finding (it is, after all, the home of Johnny Appleseed). I have to rely on my journey through LI's North Fork each Christmas to stock up on Pippins for the winter. I acquired my taste for Pippins in college in Charlottesville, VA back in the day....

                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                    CindyJ Nov 13, 2006 08:49 PM

                                    Wow! What a great link.

                                  3. Andiereid Nov 13, 2006 07:18 PM

                                    I like Braeburns and Galas a lot, and don't find them to be overly tough-skinned. They're not as tart as a Granny Smith, but I don't care for really sweet apples, and these fit the bill for me.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Andiereid
                                      CindyJ Nov 13, 2006 08:52 PM

                                      I use Braeburns, Galas and Fujis in applesauce, but I don't find any of those particularly tart. But, from the responses here I can certainly put together a list of "possibilities" for my next farm stand taste test.

                                    2. Karl S Nov 13, 2006 06:41 PM

                                      A Baldwin or Winesap, perhaps?

                                      Roxbury or Golden Russets, my favs, have an even rougher skin than other apples. Newtown/Albermarle Pippins, another fav, less so.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Karl S
                                        prunefeet Nov 14, 2006 04:13 PM

                                        Sounds like winesap except that winesap skins can definitely be tough. But they are so good!!

                                        1. re: prunefeet
                                          Kelli2006 Nov 14, 2006 09:08 PM

                                          Finding a Winesap is the holy grail of apples, but I have only seen them a few times, and they are getting more and more rare by the year. I have 5 orchards with a 30 mile radius, but none of them grow Winesap's.
                                          I used to receive them from a friend, but they sold their property, and the orchard was bulldozed for development.

                                          1. re: Kelli2006
                                            Produce Addict Nov 15, 2006 02:29 PM

                                            Where are you located? They are very easy to find in farmers markets in NYC.

                                            1. re: Produce Addict
                                              Kelli2006 Nov 15, 2006 04:45 PM

                                              I live the in Amish country of N-E Ohio. NYC is about 8 hours away. I love the city, but its a long way to go for a great apple.

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