As popular as the apple is, unfortunately, only a few types of apples are enjoyed. Names like “Red Delicious”, “Golden Delicious”, “Granny Smith”, “Gala” and “Honeycrisp” are most recognizable, but did you know that there use to be hundreds of other apple varieties enjoyed by our ancestors?
Now days you hear of produce being called “heritage” or “heirloom”. These terms mean that it is an old variety of that plant. Sometimes these varieties are specific to a certain area or a certain climate. Often these heritage or heirloom varieties are more hardy, flavorful and crisp.
There are still hundreds of varieties of apples being cultivated in family orchards and on small farms. Here are a few of the heritage apple breeds still cultivated today.
- Rhode Island Greening
- Northern Spy
- Rome Beauty
- Grimes Gold
- Arkansas Black
- Ashmead’s Kernel
- Hidden Rose
A fun challenge for the autumn season would be to look up orchards that grow these heritage breeds and see if they are available for you to pick. You never know what amazing new flavors you could find! Or you could try growing your own heritage breed apple tree yourself!