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Honey Crisp apples - next best?

  • h

Can't find the Honey Crisp anywhere and have been told the season's finished. I've been trying to find one that tastes nearly as good and am getting nowhere.

Any ideas?

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  1. Pink Lady. Similar mild flavor, similar crispiness.

    Now, someone needs to start working on a Honey Crisp/Jonathan/Macintosh hybrid.

    1. I am so glad to see your post as I haven't had an apple in weeks because I couldn't find any more Honey Crisps :-(

      1. i bought a 3 lb bag of Ontario Honey Crisps last week at Fiesta Farms.

        1. Personal favorite is the Cameo opple!

          1. If I may indulge in a little rant..

            As a Canadian, living in Toronto, I'm appalled at my inability to buy Canadian apples during the year. Every grocery has Granny Smith apples from South Africa or the US, the oxymoronic Red & Gold Delicious (which are far from delicious, IMHO - small flavour, awful texture), Fuji and Gala, etc., but none of the great Canadian varieties I enjoyed as a child in Quebec - Spy's, Winesaps, IDA reds, Spartans, etc. My only choice for a Canadian apple is McIntosh (which are great, and I really enjoy them), but still! I like my apples crisp, cold, and tart, with just a touch of sweetness. (end of rant)

            5 Replies
            1. re: KevinB

              You need to shop growers on the edges of the GTA and beyond. If you want 'em, you gotta drive to the apples like Honey Crisps and other varieties. Supermarkets just don't bother. Check the u-pick listings run by the province and call the orchards--many run stores year-round with excellent quality cold-stored apples and cider.

              1. re: KevinB

                Hey, KevinB, I have purchased Northern Spy apples and Spartans at the Superstore at Don Mills & Eglinton in the summer and fall, for sure. Longo's has a pretty good selection of Ontario apples during that time, as well.

                1. re: KevinB

                  Price Chopper (and maybe Sobey's?) seem to be supplied to some degree by Norfolk apple growers. My local Price Chopper always has Ontario Empire apples (cross between a Mac and a Delicious), and occasionally Spartans and Galas.

                  I think a lot of the other varieties have been given up in favour of the more popular types, which is why varieties like Spys and Winesaps are only available in the fall. Also, in checking the Ontario apple growers website, which lists apples with a time range (ie. Empires are listed as October to July), my guess is that a lot of varieties are just finished, even those in cold-storage.

                  1. re: SherylKirby

                    I gotta say. After around November/December, apples start to really, really suck. There's a 10% chance of getting any good apples from a store now, and they still don't even compare to fresh apples you buy at the end of the summer when they're freshly grown.

                    Apples are put into cold storage and then taken out several months later and sold. Terrible thing.

                    1. re: SMOG

                      Indeed. Terrible thing...nature. Half the fun of produce up north is the seasonality of it. While I realize I wouldn't have been able to get a lime here 60 years ago...the fun of apple season is the anticipation!

                2. Storage Honey Crisps are pretty much cleaned out now. I like JonaGolds but find that storage apples--even direct from growers in Brampton/Cambridge/KW--are getting a little spongey. If you want local apples, a trip to the growers is the only option. Stores usually skip them now in favor of low cost-and tasteless--imports.

                  1. Mmm... pink lady are good, and same with ambrosia.

                    1. The U of M has developed some other apples alongside the Honey Crisp:

                      Both the Zestar and the Snow Sweet are good choices if you can find them, but IMO, the honey crisp reigns supreme.

                      Zestar (early season): http://www.apples.umn.edu/orchards/Ze...
                      Snow Sweet (late season): http://www.apples.umn.edu/orchards/sn...

                      1. Pretty fed up with the grocery store Foodland Ontario bags by this time of year, but my local cheap greengrocer, Fruit King, has excellent Ontario mutsus hidden at the back.

                        1. I got some Empire apples from Whole Foods a few days ago. They are virtually as good as from the orchard. I was shocked! Juicy, crispy, lots of flavour, almost perfect.

                          1. I saw Honey Crisp apples for sale by the basket at the St. Lawrence Farmers' Market (north building) just this past Saturday (March 22). They were located in the northeast corner. Sorry but I don't know the price nor can I attest to their quality. At this late date, they may not be so crispy!