Beni Shogun Fuji apple is one of my favorite fresh eating apples. Because Fuji needs a long growing season, and I live west of the Cascades where long summers rarely vacation, I was in search of a sport of Fuji that was better suited for cooler climates. I found Beni Shogun Fuji and I’m happy to report old Beni is a champ, weathering our cool growing season admirably. The apples were glowing red and firm as an unripe pear. A few weeks in the fridge and they mellowed into juicy little sugar bombs.
Bramley’s Seedling apple is handsdown my favorite baking apple. It’s a tree that says stand back, I’m ready to grow some great cooking apples and plenty of them–such a very heavy producer, that Bramley’s Seedling usually requires support stakes to keep the overloaded limbs from breaking. Apples are big, firm, crisp and flavorful–tart for sure, and perfect for cooking or eating fresh though on the uber-tart side.
Cameo apple had me at hello. I was willing to take a chance on this apple, not sure how well it would grow in Western Washington. You should be able to find Cameo in your produce section, so give it a try. It is a juicy, crisp fresh eating apple suitable simply for dessert. Normally cameos are more red than yellow; perhaps their light blush is in response to my fondness toward them.
Esopus Spitzenberg apple is often known as the preferred apple of Thomas Jefferson. After its first harvest, I’d have to concur it is very good and I look forward to next year’s crop when the tree has had time to mature. It’s a very firm apple that rewards you with more flavor and depth if left to mellow in a cool place for a week or two.
Jonagold apple is an amazingly good apple in my orchard. In fact, if I could only plant a couple apple trees, Jonagold would top the list. As a cross between a Gold Delicious and Jonathan, it brings a lot of flavor to the table. It is super sweet but finishes off with a very nice tartness. Fresh eating or cooking up a storm, this is my prize pick for best apple this year. More from WSU extension.
York is one of those apples that tastes like it has a history (and it does). Discovered in 1830 in York, Pennsylvania, the apple enjoys a subtle flavor and appealing, firm texture. While not overly sweet, York is an apple I could eat everyday, whether or not it actually did keep the doctor away. Big and lop-sided usually, it’s also a very good baking apple.
That’s about it for now, but I have a couple other newly planted varieties I’ll be reporting on later.
Tom Conway here – A man, a dog, a farmhouse on five acres, countless projects and a hankering to grow and cook good food on Vashon Island. Join me, and my bulldog Buddy, as I share what I know, what I love, and what I’m learning along the way!