About – Apple from the 1800’s. Touted to be the favorite of Thomas Jefferson. Known for being prone to just about every apple disease out there.
Shape – Shaped like Red Delicious, tall, but stands well on the plate. Ridged apple with lumps, still pretty symmetrical. You could mistake this for a Red Delicious just based on appearances. Diminutive in stature compared to the Red Delicious.
Skin – Bright red, striking appearance even for a small apple. Matte, even when rubbed on the shirt only gets a slight shine. Not real chewy, breaks well. Slight russet on top.
Flesh – Crumbly, but dense. Yellow hinted, not terribly juicy.
Taste – There’s a lot going on here. Worthy of presidential merit. Cherry and pear drop flavors. Dense, complex sugary tastes with a pleasing sweet aftertaste. The complexity comes from the flavor compounds, not from sweetness or tartness. I could see this being the parent to the original Hawkeye Delicious. There are similarities here, shape, flesh consistency, color, but the Delicious branch of the genetics fall flat on their face compared the the Esopus Spitzenburg. Thomas Jefferson knew what quality was when he claimed this was his favorite.
Fresh eating rating: 8/10 – Impressive. An American original with aromatics and complexities some of the best European apples are known for. I would pay a premium price for these. Would I grow it? If it werent for the disease problems, I probably would.
Culinary rating: Not tested, dont waste these in pie.