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Dec 14, 2006 11:07 PM

Anyone "jazzed" about new apple varieties?

I bought a new-to-me variety of apple the other day: the Jazz(tm). It's a new apple from New Zealand (although the one I bought was grown in Washington), produced by crossing Royal Gala and Braeburn varietals. To me, it combines the best aspects of both: the firm, crisp texture of a Braeburn with the strong apple flavor of the Gala. Anyone else tried it? Anyone else have any other "new" apples they've discovered this apple season?

(And does anyone even say "jazzed" anymore?)

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  1. I'll be interested to try this "Jazz" apple. My favorite is the Gala, so it will be interesting to taste.

    Last week, I picked up a "Pink Lady", which I had never seen before - the skin was so vibrant! No idea if this is new or been around for awhile...

    5 Replies
    1. re: akp

      I had a Pink Lady a few weeks ago, and it was fabulous.

      1. re: pikawicca

        I've been buying Pink Ladies for several years now, and they are hands-down the best apples for the money. Always crisp, slighty tart but also super-sweet, and, strangely, especially tasty when I leave one in my hot car during the day for a warm apple treat on the drive home. They aren't available for about 2 months each year, and they usually try to replace them with Pacific Rose in the grocery store. That one's very blah; it basically taste like water.

        1. re: pikawicca

          I've seen Pink Lady's/Cripps Pink but haven't tried them. What do they taste like? I know they are a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. Does the Golden Delicious overwhelm the Lady Williams (which is tart and crisp similar to Granny Smith and Jonathan's)?

          Personally I dislike both Red and Golden Delicious, both in flavor and texture.

          1. re: JMF

            I'm not fond of red or golden's either, but I love the Pink Lady variety. They're basically sweet, crisp, and a bit tart, very enjoyable. Also Two River's brewery made a Pink Lady cider a while back that was one of the best ciders I've had.

            1. re: JMF

              The Pink Lady's I purchased this year were tart and very crisp.
              I found last years to be much sweeter.

        2. I had a "Honey Crisp" a couple of weeks ago and can't find anymore! The name is perfect - sweet, juicy and very crisp. It had a nice light "snap" when bitten. The skin wasn't thick, like some. I don't know if it's new, but it's *good*.

          15 Replies
          1. re: EssQ

            I also enjoyed some excellent Honey Crisp apples this fall. Light, juicy, and crispy. They are not tart and the skin is not tough. Similar to a Fuji but a bit better.

            1. re: interference

              Here, here. I got giddy on honeycrisps all Fall. They are just a perfect apple to me :-) I have to say none of them made it into any cooking though - I was too busy eating them with good cheese for lunch every day!

              1. re: jcanncuk

                I love Honey Crisp apples too, but here in the midwest, we can only get them for a while in the fall. Guess I'll have to "settle" now and just eat Pink Lady's!

            2. re: EssQ

              Believe it or not, the 'red snake' is carrying Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Jazz, and Ambrosia. All have that yellow with a pink blush skin and are mild in their tartness, but have a nice crispness with a thin skin. The Ambrosia is nice for salads. The rest I just like to eat. However, when it comes to a nice wedge of aged Canadian sharp cheddar (okay, Vermont as well) - not that yellowed cheese common in US grocery stores - I still enjoy an apple with a bit more acidity - Red Delicious and Granny Smith.

              1. re: SanseiDesigns

                I love Granny Smith (and Pippin, which is even better) but I hate Red Delicious, even when it's perfect and organic and I've taken it off the tree and washed it, it tastes like "mushy".

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Oh, that is so undfortunate. I grew up in pear/apple country and red delicious is still a favourite when it is crisp, crunchy, sweet, with a hint of 'greeness' to it. I don't care for mushy apples either. Fortunately many producer grocers offer tastes if requested; even the big guys.

                1. re: EssQ

                  and a good thing too. it'll be back next season, but it does not keep. ;-)

                  1. re: EssQ

                    Here in SoCal Trader Joe's has Honeycrisps the size of an infant's head for $1.29 each. Much better than the Fujis we used to get. One out of maybe ten will be a little insipid, but generally they're not only perfectly crisp but taste like the best cider I've ever had. Half of one per person is just right for finishing up breakfast.

                    None of the other new or newish varieties I've tried even come close. And when the supply runs out, well, it's navel orange season!

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      H Mart, the Korean Supermarket chain, has Honeycrisps that size this year. $1.49 lb, and each weighs almost a pound. Actually one is too much to eat by oneself. But they taste so good.

                      1. re: JMF

                        It's strange to me that people are describing Honeycrisps as being big. I buy them fairly often and they've always been the same size as other apples. I've even bought small ones.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          There is no single standard size for apples so I'm a little perplexed also. Apples come in a range of sizes and its up to the retailer to select the sizes that they purchase for sale.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            My regular grocer has normal sized Honeycrisps, but the ones from H Mart are the largest apples I have ever seen. They weigh 14-18 oz. each. I have a difficult time finishing one of these monsters as a snack. Add a hunk of cheddar and it becomes a meal.

                            1. re: JMF

                              A 14 to 18 oz apple as a snack? Anything over 7 oz gets cut in half for me and is two snacks, unless I'm really hungry and expecting the next meal to be several hours away. I usually go crazy buying Asian greens, etc., at Super H Mart and may have never paid attention to their apple selections but I don't think I've ever seen one that big. The biggest apples I've ever taken home, and only because I had no choice, were 10 oz.

                            2. re: Ruth Lafler

                              At the stores where I shop, a choice of sizes of Gala - small or large - is pretty common. Occasionally I will also see a choice of sizes of Fuji but for other varieties almost never and large is the default. (Other people's experience even in the same city may be different, I guess).

                      2. I love the Jazz. I just bought a couple myself and really liked it. Very crisp like a granny but also sweet.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I've always found Fujis to be rather flavorless -- they're all about the texture. This is a much more flavorful apple, IMHO.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I really like Fuji's ... well early Fuji's ... it seems that Fuji's are going the way of Delicious apples. Their popularity seems to be getting the flavor bred out of them. It is pretty hit and miss these days about getting a flavorful Fuji.

                              Even at their best, a Fuji wasn't at all like like a Jazz. A Fuji, to me was a nice sweet apple with a solid texture.

                              The Jazz is the soul of the apple ... the definition of the word apple.

                              OMG ... this is the best apple I’ve had in so long ... if an apple could take steroids to bring it to perfection ... this would be the super-star of apples ... crispy and full of juice ... as fragrant as apple blossoms ... delicately balancing between tart and sweet. Fans of both types of apples would love this. It made me stop and pay attention and have a little respect for what I was biting into.

                              Out of almost a dozen heirlooms, this new apple was the only truly memorable one, though there were a lot of tasty apples ... Swiss Gourmet. Ashmead’s Kernel, Cinnamon Spice, Crimson Gold, Liberty, Candy Crisp, Philo Gae, Sweet Orin, Skinner Seedless and Pacific ... and a few old favs like Spartan.

                              In the middle of this apple orgy, I came across a really great site that seems to list most of the varieties of apples, where they originated, when they are in season and what they look and taste like. Very cool

                              Apple Journal

                              A few examples of the actual descriptions ...
                              with pictures
                              table format without pictures

                            2. Interesting - I always thought the Braeburn was more of a flavor apple, and a Gala more sweet.

                              Im afraid that all of these new varieties are essentially Japanese oriented, about crisp texture and looks more than apple flavor.

                              Honeycrisp for example I find unbearably tasteless.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jen kalb

                                We ate some honey crisp last year in Toronto, right off the tree at an orchard. It was a fantastic apple, with almost citrusy, bright flavors. But the ones I've bought here in stores (in SoFla) are not anywhere near as good.

                                1. re: diablita FL

                                  Yes, they don't age well and are best young and fresh.