Karl Foord, UMN Extension Educator
I did an apple tasting exercise with 24 young people last summer and we tasted the following apples traditionally available at grocery stores, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Tentation, Fuji, American Cameo, Royal Gala, and Red Delicious. More then half of the young people chose Fuji as their number one choice. Given this array of apples my taste buds agreed with theirs.
Then I started tasting local Minnesota Apples. Quite frankly I was astonished. These were excellent apples and in my opinion outclassed all of the commercially available apples previously tested. Granted the store apples had either been grown in Washington State and stored for 10 months, or had been shipped from either Chile or New Zealand. The Minnesota apples were fresh. Certainly tastes differ significantly among people and a recommendation is simply my opinion. You must discover for yourself as it is your taste and opinion that will render the final decision.
We are still early in the apple season. Some of the earliest of varieties have come and gone like State Fair. This is mostly due to the warm spring we had. However, many of the best are yet to come. My favorite early apples are Chestnut Crab and Zestar. I thought Paula Red was a good apple when captured within its optimum taste window. It doesn't keep that well and that is why my memory of Paula Red is one of a mushy apple. Check out our Early Apple Tasting video with Mike Dekarski (linked to this Y&G issue) to see some early season apples that we tested last week.
I look forward to SweeTango but we will have to see how many apples make it to the market. I also look forward to Honeycrisp, Sweet Sixteen, and SnowSweet.
Don't miss out on the Minnesota fresh apple season. Most orchards will let you taste before you buy so you can get the apple that tastes best to you.
I highly recommend that you give yourself a treat and experience the taste adventures available in local Minnesota Apples.
You can find an orchard near you at the Minnesota Grown .