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Where's the sweetest, crispiest apples North of Boston?

I haven't found a great apple this year from a few places I tried, they seemed either very tart or mealy/mushy even when they looked great. I tend to like Macs, Macoun, Cortland, Empire as opposed to the more " red delicious" apple flavors like Gala etc. Maybe its just the difference that I didn't pick them, so a few days on their shelf and a couple more on my counter get them mealy? Just craving a very sweet juicy apple.

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  1. Smolak's in N. Andover, Ingaldsby in Boxford.

    1. My favorite are Macouns. They stay crisper is you put them in the refrigerator right away.

      1. Russell Orchard had some nice Honeycrisp & Jonagolds when I was there a couple of weeks ago.

        1. except for granny smiths, i never used to like apples. But now i have a HoneyCrisp every day. WF has the biggest and more exp ones; MktBaskets are smaller but just as crunchy, moist and flavorful. Sometimes they're a little too sweet for me, but i'm still glad to have found them. ymmv.

          5 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Honey Crisp are excellent, however, at this time of year, in NE, I'll hunt for a good orchard long before I hit a super market. Hope the OP does as well. I've had fresh picked common MAC's that drip tons of juice when bitten and are super crisp.

            1. re: treb

              treb, where'd you get those juicy jmacs? and do you mean macintosh or macoun?

              1. re: chompie

                Smolak's in n Andover. Macintosh, they also have Macoun's.

            2. re: opinionatedchef

              thanks everyone! OpChef, by WF do you mean Whole Foods or Wilson Farms?

              1. re: chompie

                oh nooooo,chomp, let's not confuse things! WF for Whole Foods (It never occurred to me to think the other; i've only ever seen WF used for Whole Foods on CH.!)

            3. I find apples, if you're keeping them, hold better in the refrigerator and stay crisper (lots of other fruits do better outside of the fridge imo). If you don't want to check out the farms near you, is there a farmer's market in your area? When we run out of "picked" apples (and we love the honeycrisps, mitsus, jonagolds among others) we can usually get much better than super market apples at the weekly farmer's market in Brookline.

              2 Replies
              1. re: teezeetoo

                no, I DO want to check out the farms! Just looking for ones that have good ones!. although I too have found that MB often has as good, if not better from the farms, because they actually get the stuff from the local farms...

                1. re: chompie

                  Whole Foods did have an interesting new apple called Sweet Tango. We liked it (got it there last week, don't know if it's still around, I think it came from Minnesota and was not local).

              2. Mann's Orchard in Methuen has great Macouns and Honey Crisps. I have had my fill for a few weeks now. Their cider and bakery are nice too.

                1. I have been going to Sunnycrest in Londonderry, and have been very satisfied with their offerings. The year started off slow but I found their cortlands are decent last few days of August. I went back again for Honeycrisps the following week in September and loved em and then Galas the following time.

                  You can't go wrong with Mack's in Londonderry either. They have a sampling table in the farm market where you can have as many apple slices as you which (the corer splits the apple into 1/8 sections).

                  The key to remember with apples is that different apples have their own ripening schedules and different periods of time in which they are perishable. Mack's in particular is generally open with their own apples til February, March, or possibly April with their own apples. Red delicious ones generally keep til the bitter end while they don't have an appealing flavor when they first come out (as in a few weeks ago).

                  That being said, as an apple enthusiast, I can't stand any apple from any grocery store for the most part. All the grocery stores tend to have the less desired local varieties in September, October, and early November. Hannaford in Londonderry keeps the local apples in their store til December or January as they are supplied by Elwood (another Londonderry orchard) down the street, and this is the best store I've seen as far as local apples go. Other Hannafords pare down to just imported apples sometime in November. At that point, I'll still go down the street to purchase my apples from Mack's, or Sunnycrest.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: justrodge

                    I'll have to MapQuest Londonderry! Went to Wilson Farms today and they were better than what I've had.. The Macouns had that flavor of an apple picked off a tree which I was missing. The Macs were juicy and pretty sweet, maybe a bit past their prime though.. I don't know where they get the apples, other than from MA somewhere, but do know that their cider is from Carlsons and it was the best cider I have probably ever head. Very clean,sweet , bit of tart flavor. Also tried Marketbasket Reading which had the best apples last year from local places but they were not good at all this time.. thanks for all the responses!