After a disappointingly soft and bland Gala apple in December 2016, with the new year looming and no resolutions at hand, I launched a yearlong quest to expand my palate to more apple varieties than just Fuji. Using purely qualitative categories and limiting myself to varieties that could be found at typical grocery stores, I sampled the good, the bad, and the mushy.
For a full look at the “data”, go here: How Do You Like Them Apples?
For the film clip that inspired the name, go here: Matt Damon’s triumph
For The Atlantic’s article confirming how terrible Red Delicious is, go here: The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious
The arbitrary rating system:
🍎 awful. disgrace to apples everywhere
🍎🍎 just ok. there are better apples
🍎🍎🍎 i liked it
🍎🍎🍎🍎 i really liked it
🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎 original sin was totally worth it for this apple
*No apples received a 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎 because I remain optimistic I will find one that is so delicious that it causes fainting.
Color: What does the apple look like? What’s its visual appeal?
Texture: Is it soft? Mealy? Crunchy? Does it hurt to bite into?
Juiciness: Does it drip juice when it is cut or bitten into? Does it feel refreshing?
Flavor: Sweet? Winey? Tart? Bland?
Size: Is it easy to hold in your hand? Is it so monstrous it cannot be eaten in one sitting?
TOP RATED APPLES
Caveat: Crispness is a weighted factor in that a crisp apple will always outrank a softer apple, even if the softer apple has better flavor.
Aurora: a yellow-green-red sunrise that would be a great lunch apple.
Envy: this apple is the envy of many others. It was the perfect juiciness.
Fuji (hard to beat the classic Fuj): my personal mainstay up until 2017, the Fuji has it all: good hand feel, crisp flesh, sweet and sharp taste.
Honeycrisp: this extremely sweet, crisp apple is sometimes a little too sweet, but is a pretty apple with yellow flecking on an ombre red skin.
Jazz: With a perfumey flavor, the Jazz apple is the perfect snacking apple.
Jonagold: The best qualities of a Golden Delicious (pear notes, nuanced flavor) without the worst quality: softness.
Kiku: crisp, crunchy, with a tangy/sour afterbite.
Pippin: this pleasantly sweet apple’s green skin is a nice change from mostly red apples.
Sugarbee: aromatic, sweet, and earthy, the Sugarbee was the most flavorful I found.
Lady Alice: dry, soft, sad. It’s very possible this was the last of its crop/stored from the prior season. I’m willing to give it another try.
Rome Beauty: A case of unmet expectations. The Rome Beauty is a gorgeous, deep purple red apple that’s firm to the touch. I expected something wonderful and instead bit into a soft, bland, mealy apple with a slightly tough, acidic skin. Don’t judge this apple by its beautiful skin.
The search continues for common varietals I was unable to find: Baldwin, Cortland, Crispin, Empire, Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Idared, Jonamac, Jonathan, Liberty, Melrose, Orin, Stayman, Winesap.
And here’s to Washington State’s 2018 release, the Cosmic Crisp!