Empress Apple Review

About – Vista Bella x Jonamac (MacIntosh x Jonathan) cross.

Shape – Somewhat lumpy, some specimens are “upside down” or “bottom heavy”.
Skin – Not much smell. Patches of green under red, almost as if its picked too early. Skin is on the thin side, maybe a little more waxy than Jonamac.
Flesh – White to hints of green, soft, fine texture.
Taste – It starts with a candied type of flavor, does not last long, similar to apple flavored hard candies. This flavor mixes with a very slight anise type of aromatic. The flavors are not deep or complex. Mine has been in storage for a month. Fresh off the tree they are more acidic. With storage this mellows but they become less juicy.

Notes: Typical early season apple, one dimensional flavor, soft texture. It would be good eating on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn. A refreshing type of apple. My expectations before tasting this bag of apples were high considering its parentage of Jonamac which is my favorite snacking apple. I thought maybe there would be additional complexities in flavor but there are not. Dont get me wrong its a good apple, but its not something I would seek out as a “gotta have”. I gave the majority of my 1/2 peck away after the first few and saved this one for the mature test. Not necessarily a dead ringer for you anise nuts, its more “aura of anise” than the actual flavor. More similarities to MacIntosh than anything else. With early season apples there is so little to work with in terms of complexities, so what little these apples have to offer have to work well together, and this one just falls flat. Its just not for me.

Thank you to the folks at Borden’s Orchard in Schaghticoke, N.Y. for making this available.

Fresh eating rating: 4/10 – So many apples like it out there.
Culinary rating: N/A – Wouldnt cook well, soft apple

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