219 Whittier Road, Rochester, NY 14624 585-594-9054

At Whittier Fruit Farm, we grow 26 varieties of apples. Here's a full description and photo of each variety plus the prime picking season for them.

 

Mark’s Guide to Apple Varieties

 

August To Early September

 

Paula Red

      The earliest good eating apple. Full, tart flavor with crunch, similar to Cortland. Paula Reds don’t store well so eat them quick.

      Fresh eating, sauce, pies. Introduced in Michigan, 1967.

 

Zestar

  Outstanding well-balanced flavor and feather-light crunchy texture, extraordinary in an early apple.

  The side of the fruit   facing the sun develops a sweet spot that’s brighter red and wildly flavorful.

  Introduced in Minnesota,    1998.

 

Ginger Gold

 Looks like a Golden Delicious, but the two are not related. Sweet, spicy taste with a light texture and a pleasant crunch.

 Good for fresh eating, and slices stay white in salads. Introduced in Virginia, 1982.

 

Sansa

   Firm but tender flesh, juicy, sweet. A surprise for those of us who might expect Japanese varieties to be Fuji-sweet.

   Sansa has a complex aromatic flavor. This apple ripens in early September. Introduced in Japan, 1988.

 

Jonamac

       If you like McIntosh, you’ll love this Mac x Jonathan cross. While not as sour, it has that wonderful Mac flavor,

       with the look and crispness of Empire. Great right off the tree, not a keeper. My wife, Jill MacKenzie, says this is her favorite.

       Fresh eating, sauce. Introduced in New York, 1972.

 

Mid-September

 

Gala

A new standard for crispness and flavor. This rock-hard apple has a mild sweet flavor and yellowish flesh.

Good eating out of storage. Fresh eating, salads. Introduced in New Zealand, 1965.

 

 Autumncrisp (also known as Newcrisp)

            Balanced flavor, multi-purpose fruit. Its large size, firmness, and pleasant tartness might bring Twenty Ounce to

                    mind, as its performance in the kitchen surely will. For those who like some acidity along with their sugar, Newcrisp

                    is very nice eaten out of hand, as well, with good juiciness. Introduced in New York, 2004.

 

 Twenty Ounce

                    The Clydesdale of apples, this workhorse’s giant size means less peeling and coring for you. Mighty tart for fresh eating—

                    I wouldn’t pick and eat one on a dare, but some find its tartness refreshing. A great cooking apple, used for sauce, butter,

                    pies, and big baked apples. Introduced in New York, around 1840.

 

 McIntosh

                    Granddaddy of the New York apple industry. Sweet to tart, highly aromatic flavor. Fresh eating, sauce. Some people bake

                    with Macs; however, the slices lose their shape when used in pie, crisp, and other baked dishes. Discovered in Ontario,

                    1811; introduced 1870.

 Honeycrisp
           
Extremely, explosively crisp and juicy with a well-balanced sweet/tart flavor. This one-of-a-kind apple gets its

                    great eating character from its uniquely oversized cells. While the flesh of other apples cleaves between cells,

                    leaving the cell walls intact, when bitten, Honeycrisp’s extra-large cells burst open, releasing a mouthful of juice.

                    Flesh is slow to turn brown when cut. Fresh eating, cooking, salad. Slices hold their shape in pies. Stores for months

                    and months and stays crisp. Introduced in Minnesota, 1991.

  Sweet Sixteen

                    This apple is pretty to look at and a treat to eat. The creamy-yellow flesh if crisp and juicy, the flavor is

                    sweet. But wait, there's more! Sweet Sixteen has a distinctive flavor, variously described as anise, almond,

                    bubble gum, spice, or cherry candy. Try it and see! Introduced in Minnesota, 1977.

                    of the similarly colored Winesap. Judy’s favorite apple. Not a great keeper, so eat them as they ripen, then

                    wait for next year. Introduced in New York, 1923.

 

Late September

 

 Cortland

                    Sweet to tart, very aromatic flavor reflects Mac parentage. Pure white flesh is slow to turn brown when cut.

                    Great range in size makes for lots of snack-sized and cooking apples. Cortland is the apple I use to make pies.

                    Fresh eating, cooking, salad. Introduced in New York, 1915.

 

 Empire

                    Rich flavor with a balance of sweet and tart, juicy and crisp. Our U-pick customers’ favorite variety,

                    its character changes throughout the harvest like no other. Empires you find in grocery stores are always

                    om the arliest pickings, and can be bland. Allowed to ripen fully on the tree, Empires develop a glorious

                    aroma and bold taste. Late on the tree, Empire is my favorite apple. Keeps well. Multi-purpose apple good

                    for fresh eating and cooking. Introduced in New York, 1966.

 

 Macoun

                    Macoun is another apple that benefits from full tree ripening, with an aromatic, Mac-family flavor that

                    can’t be found in store-bought specimens. Our juiciest apple by far, a northeastern rival of the similarly

                    colored Winesap. Judy’s favorite apple. Not a great keeper, so eat them as they ripen, then wait for next year.

                    Introduced in New York, 1923.

 

 Red Delicious

                    Coarse textured, firm and sweet. Not recommended for baking, but a traditional favorite for fresh eating,

                    salads, and dried apples. Can you say “damning with faint praise”? This Western standard will always be

                    popular. It’s fun to grow, and we endeavor to produce as fine a Red Delicious as you can find anywhere.

                    Introduced in Iowa, 1894.

 

Early October

 

 

 Fortune

                    We are learning to produce better Fortunes! We're picking later, when the flavor has developed more. Fortune

                    is a multi-purpose apple with a sweet/tart flavor. The skin is so tender and thin it sometimes splits on the tree.

                    A lingering faintly astringent aftertaste is a challenge for some, others like it and are very loyal. Its size makes it a

                    great late-season alternative to Twenty Ounce for cooking, but don't bake them whole, as the skin bursts.

                    Introduced in New York, 1995.

 

Jonagold

                    An amazing combination of high sugar—the highest of any apple—with a perfect balance of acidity is what

                    makes Jonagold a boldly flavorful apple. Juicy, crisp, and often very large. Of the truly two-colored apples,

                    Jonagold is the prettiest by far, with beautiful creamy-yellow flesh. Brings great flavor to apple dishes, but

                    the sauce can be thin. My brother Dave’s favorite apple. Not a long-range keeper. Introduced in New York, 1968.

 

 Golden Delicious

                    Fine-textured, sweet and juicy, with a mild flavor and a super-thin skin. Excellent for fresh eating and good for baking,

                    too (use less sugar than with other varieties in recipes). An excellent subject for dried apples. Stores well and shares

                    no parentage with Red Delicious. Introduced in West Virginia, 1912.

 

 

Mid October

 

 Topaz

                    Crunchy, juicy, tasty, sour flavor. Reminds me of some sweet/sour candies, as the sugar hits before the acid, and

                    then suddenly there's a big tart explosion! A funny-looking fruit, kind of bumpy. Introduced in Czech Republic, 200

 

 Ida Red

                    An all-purpose apple with a balanced, tangy flavor and good crisp texture. Bright red skin and red-streaked

                    white flesh. Idas make the most beautiful deep pink applesauce if you leave the skins on during cooking and

                    then process it through a food mill. Most late apples are good keepers; Ida Red is no exception, good for winter

                    baking. Introduced in Idaho, 1942.

 

 Northern Spy

                    The ultimate for apple crisp, this truly local variety has a loyal cult following. Northern Spy is large and pink-fleshed

                    with a snappy tart flavor. Unlike other cooking apples, this one is tasty enough to be eaten out of hand or sliced and

                    spread with peanut butter. The slices stay firm in pies and hold their shape. Try it baked, too. Found in East Bloomfield, NY,

                    around 1800.

 

  Fuji

                    This big, crisp, sweet dessert apple is a shelf-life champion. Leave it in your fruit bowl for a week,

                    and it’ll still be firm and juicy. A sub-acid variety, its flavor is almost entirely sugary. Fantastic winter-long

                    keeper. Introduced in Japan, 1962.

 

 Suncrisp

                    This yellow descendant of Cox’s Orange Pippin ripens with a bright orange face. The skin is often russetted

                    and not too pretty. Inside, though, the flesh is firm, juicy, and very full-flavored. This is a big, big taste, great

                    for fresh eating, and really special for pies, sauce, and dried apples. Promises to be a superior winter keeper.

                    Introduced in New Jersey, 1994.

 

 

Late October

 

 Crispin

                    Looks like its parent, Golden Delicious, but don’t let looks fool you. This large and bulbous variety packs a

                    zippy, flavorful punch, a good, full blend of sugar, acid, juice and crunch. Flesh stays white when cut—partner

                    it with Empire for a great fruit salad. Ray’s favorite apple. Introduced in Japan as ‘Mutsu,’ 1930s.

 

 Granny Smith

                    Very tart, very firm: the classic sour green apple. Too sour for me, but some say they’re perfect with cheese

                    and walnuts, or in salads. Don’t be tempted to pick them early. Flavor in apples develops through conversion

                    of stored starch to sugar and acid, so the longer they stay on the tree, the fuller the flavor will be. Don’t worry,

                    they won’t lose their tartness! Introduced in Australia, 1868.

 

 

 

 

Chestnut Crab apple

 Chestnut Crab

Small and sometimes quite russetted and ugly, this cute little crab packs great flavor and surprising juiciness. Sliced with cheese it's quite wonderful. More than just a gnome-like novelty, Chestnut is a cult favorite in Minnesota, where it was introduced in 1949.

 

Apple images courtesy of The New York Apple Association.

 

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