9 Local Apples to Try This Season
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many shoppers are thinking about what to buy for the upcoming holidays. Apples are one of the biggest staples of the season, and can be seen in Halloween treats to Thanksgiving dishes. In addition to peaches, apples are one of the biggest crops in western Massachusetts and are a huge part of the rural local economy. This time of year is probably the second most bounty-filled - after summer. Enjoy and savor the season by visiting your local orchards or shopping local at your local co-op. Below is a list of heirloom apples that you’ll find at the co-op throughout the season from Scott Farm Orchards in Dummerston, VT and Apex Orchards in Shelburne Falls, MA.
Baldwin • This apple originated from Wilmington, Massachusetts in 1740. A monument to the Baldwin apple now marks the location of the first tree in Wilmington. Baldwin apples have long been prized for the making of hard cider.
Blue Pearmain • A New England apple dating back to the early 1700s. Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal about his preference for Blue Pearmain. The crisp, rich flavor makes it a good apple for fresh eating and baking.
Cortland • This great all-purpose apple was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1898. It is sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness which makes it ideal for salads and baking. Also, a great apple to eat.
Esopus Spitzenberg • Thomas Jefferson grew this variety at Monticello and it is said to be one of his favorite types of apples. It is considered one of the best eating apples in America. It originally came from New York in the 1700s.
Greening’s Rhode Island • This apple was grown by Mr. Greening at his inn and tavern near Newport, Rhode Island. A good eating apple, but better in baked goods. Pies made with this apple have won awards all over the world. Legend has it that this variety came from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden.
Macoun • This apple is a cross between the McIntosh and Jersey Black varieties. It is regarded as one of the finest eating apples in the Northeast. It has a very firm flesh that is juicy and snow white with a sweet flavor.
Roxbury Russett • The first American apple, developed in Roxbury, MA. This apple has a nectar-like flavor that is similar to guava. It has a very high sugar content, though you may not notice it due to the acids. Cider made from this apple is like syrup, it is so thick.
Snow • Originally from Quebec, this apple was planted in the early 1600s. One hundred years later it was grown extensively in Northern New England. This aromatic, crisp apple is best for fresh use and is similar to McIntosh for cooking.
Twenty Oz • From the mid-1850s, this American apple is by far the largest Scott Farm grows. Its tart, zesty flavor makes it a favorite for pies and baking. Also good for fresh use, but you’ll need help finishing this huge apple!
If you would like to try out our many types of local apples, we have several apple tastings throughout the season at the co-op. Follow our Facebook page to be notified of the dates and details of these. There are many more apple types from various parts of the world, download our apple brochure (which can also be found in our Produce department) to learn more about them! We appreciate Scott Farm Orchards for taking the time to provide us with this information.