Late season apple power rankings

apples in bin in orchard at Samascott

How 'bout them apples?

Now that apple season is almost over -- this upcoming weekend is probably that last for pick-your-own -- we return to our totally subjective, completely unscientific -- yet thoroughly authoritative (of course) -- power rankings of apple varieties.

See also: Early season apple power rankings.

5. Ashmead's Kernel
An odd fellow with English style, all greenish-yellow, russeted, crunchy. And that flavor... what is that? Ashmead's is the guy that no one can remember inviting to the party, nor can anyone remember his backstory, but everyone was happy that he attended.

4. Golden Delicious
So smooth and sweet, almost too easy to like (especially when you pick a truly ripe one). But, you know, that's OK. Sometimes life shouldn't be complicated.

3. Granny Smith
A sharp lady with iconic style. Did you know she's Australian? And that there was an actual Maria Ann "Granny" Smith? This apple is versatile the kitchen, working well in both pies, salads, or eaten for a snack after a month tucked in the produce drawer. We should all be so useful.

2. Empire/Cortland
Two New York apples, McIntosh descendants, conceived at Cornell. Sweet and crisp when plucked from a tree in the orchard (something any good New Yorker should do at least once), the bite revealing the white flesh inside. The official state fruit of New York is an apple -- but we shouldn't be so noncommittal. The Empire or Cortland deserve the affirmation.

1. Jonathan
As American as... apple pie. Sweet and yet also acidic. In one telling of its origin, the Jonathan is said to trace back to the famed Esopus Spitzenberg variety and Woodstock, New York -- with a name granted by the president of the Albany Horticultural Society. Whatever its starting point, the Jonathan has helped create a wide range of popular descendants over the years. And it's a pleasure today.

Is there any apple that looks and tastes as much like an apple as a Jonathan? The answer: No, there is not.


Earlier on AOA: Lost and found apples.


Jonagold. That is all.

Winesaps are my very favorite late season apple.

Does anyone know if anyone will still be picking next week? Specifically Thursday, Nov 7? Trying to think of things to entertain an out-of-town Dad during a weekday in November is hard.

What the.... no Crispin/Mitsu?!?!?!


Anyone willing to "glean" apples at Indian Ladder on Friday, Nov. 1 (11:00) or Sunday, Nov. 3 (1:00) to supply fresh apples to area food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters? After the commercial harvest, Peter Ten Eyck has once again generously opened part of his orchard to volunteer gleaners organized by the Capital District Community Gardens. For more information call 274 8685. It's fun and for a good cause. We literally picked a ton of apples the last time we did it.

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