We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Cortlands are among my favorites, especially for making apple butter. Macs and Fujis are fine but I like Spartans for eating. If you can get to an area with an abundance of orchards you can find a wide selection of varieties. Supermarket Red Delicious are anything but.
I gave up on the Red Delicious a long, long time ago. I knew, my inner self KNEW that this was not an apple. Raised on the apples of northeast Canada, I had a different standard for taste and texture. HOWEVER, you must bring into this conversation how different apples of the same type can be very different from the same apple grown in another part of this country. For example: I doubt that you folks on the east coast would recognize a Macintosh apple out here in the west. They don't have the same texture, or the same flavor. So it behooves one who is searching for apple trees to plant to make sure they know what the difference is between a NE Macintosh and a NW Macintosh, or even a Wisconsin Mac.
Now however, because this conversation comes back to one of my favorite focus groups--the WA state leadership. Let me tell you this story: Sometime back in the 1990's early 2000's the then WA state AG who became Governor--Christine Gregoire did a real fine piece of work. When the white apple growers were having to tear up their orchards because of an inability to sell these apples--MSZ Gregoire made a special law. Those apple farmers going under HAD to give first choice for the purchase of their land to Mexican buyers, using federal D o A purchase loans. In other words--she absolutely made certain that illegal Mexican laborers were able to purchase the land of apple farmers, who were unable to get the loans necessary to replant their orchards with new/different varieties. Aww shucks ain't those femnazis wonderful!
Wolf River for apple butter and pies, Northern Spys, Summer Rambo, Winesap. The list is almost endless!
Of course, the Rhode Island Greening for cooking.
I find most of the commercial apples (including the modern Macintosh) far too sweet. But the Red Delicious is truly horrid.
I was born in the northeastern tip of NY state in 1944 and raised in a small town. In the fall my father would buy bushels of apples from Chazy Orchards ("biggest Macintosh orchard in the world," (?) they claimed. I remember walking into the huge refrigerated warehouse, which smelled heavenly. (My dad knew the owner.) A bushel of Macs (still my favorite apple), Northern Spys for my mother; I can't remember what else, but I'm pretty sure no mushy, dry Red Delicious! I have never been able to like or buy them. I want crisp and juicy, and the Macintosh perfume. My mother made pink-colored applesauce by hand with a Foley food mill. also apple crisp, some pies. Chazy is on Lake Champlain. Now I live in CA, which used to have some choice, but now has hardly any apple choice (and crazy prices). I'm not enjoying the apple paradise I used to know. Progress? Not to me.
Northeastern New Yorker (born and raised)
I never liked Red Delicious. I think they are hard and starchy and have little taste. My grandmother and uncles owned an apple orchard in southeastern Massachusetts and they grew Macintoshes and Macouns but no Red Delicious. I still like a good fresh Mac.
Agreed on the worthlessness of the Red Delicious. To me they're just not an apple. Lately some growers here in the Hudson Valley not too far from Albany have been producing Mutsu apples and I've acquired a taste for them as hand apples. I think they're also known as Crispins. Reminds me that I need to go down the road a piece today to Goolds' Orchards and pick up some apples. To my taste the window when apples are crisp and tart/sweet is a small one.
The place to be in apple season is Tasmania--they are all small orchardists and have a wide variety of very different apples.Most I had never heard of--go in early April. Don't forget the fantastic fish-the water is really clean and very cold down there--best fish ever!