Northern Orchards

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Apple Varieties


Below are the main varieties that we will handle over a 12-month seasonal cycle. Each variety has its own distinct characteristics. Also, certain apples store longer than others. As long as quality remains high we try to keep our retailers supplied with each variety as long as we can.

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Mutzu / Crispin

  • From Japan 1930
  • This apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo
  • A green apple that ripens to a yellow color
  • Its flesh is yellow-white, firm, juicy and crisp
  • Great for baking and eating fresh
  • When cooked the apple slices will remain firm and not lose their shape
  • A great all-purpose apple
  • Available from September right through to August

Cortland

  • 1916 New York State
  • Cross between MacIntosh and Ben Davis
  • A dark red to almost purple apple with green stripes
  • Known for it low acidity it is a very easy apple to digest
  • Great for salads because when sliced it does not brown very quickly
  • Generally good for most baking endeavours
  • Available late September until May

Empire

  • 1966 New York State
  • Cross between MacIntosh and Red Delicious
  • Round and dark red in color
  • Also a low acid variety similar to the Cortland
  • Primarily an eating apple
  • Not the best baking apple as the flesh tends to turn very soft and textureless when baked.
  • However because it water content is high can be a great choice for juice or cider
  • Available early October until July

Fuji

  • 1962 Japan
  • Cross between Delicious and Ralls Janet
  • Brown to pink in color
  • Its best characteristics are that it is usually very hard, sweet and full of water
  • It also stores very well
  • Good for all applications
  • Matures late October and is available until June

Golden Delicious

  • 1890 West Virginia
  • An old variety that stands on its own
  • Known for its golden color
  • Firm, flesh that is sweet
  • Containing less water than other apples makes this a great baking apple
  • Almost the best choice for applesauce that is full of texture and flavour
  • Available from late August through until July

Gala

  • 1934 New Zealand
  • Cross between Golden Delicious and Kidds Orange Red
  • The number one selling variety in the world
  • Orange to Crimson striped with a yellow background
  • Super sweet in flavour this apple is one of the best snacking apples
  • It also seems to always store well, providing a crunchy eating experience
  • Available from early September until late February

Honeycrisp

  • 1991 Minnesota
  • Cross between Maccoun and Keepsake
  • Red on top of a yellow background
  • The best new variety on the market
  • Developed as a cold climate apple, Canada is one of the best areas in the world to grow this apple
  • Extremely crunchy, this apple has unbelievable water content
  • Eating this apple releases so much juice it feels like you are drinking from a glass of cider
  • Available September through January

Jonagold

  • 1968 Geneva
  • Cross between Jonathon and Golden Delicious
  • Large fruit , red on yellow
  • Firm and sweet, it is great for eating fresh
  • Also a good choice for pies and applesauce
  • Available from September through January

Macintosh

  • 1811 Dundas, Ontario
  • Named after the man that discovered it as a chance seedling in his orchard
  • Green with a red cheek in color
  • The King of Canadian apples
  • No other apple has its distinctive tart flavour
  • As it ripens it gets even sweeter
  • Can be used for baking but really is best as a snack
  • Available from early September until June

Ida Red

  • 1942 Idaho
  • Cross between Jonathan and Wagner
  • Solid red orange in color
  • Thick skin with a dense flesh
  • Improves to its best flavours after being in storage for several months
  • Remains tart in flavour long into its ripening cycle
  • This is overlooked as one of the best apples for baking
  • Not as popular for eating, many people do use this variety for just snacking
  • Available October through August

Red Delicious

  • 1850 Idaho
  • Chance seedling
  • Red color solid or striped
  • Creamy white flesh
  • Formerly a popular eating apple that is overlooked now because of its tendency to go soft if not stored properly
  • However it has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity as storage practices have improved to the point where we can offer great tasting reds on a consistent basis
  • Available from September until July

Russet

  • Dates back to the middle ages in Europe - could even be much older
  • Brown in color with a skin that is rough and textured like sandpaper
  • The most firm and dry of all apples, it is loved for its sweet, unusual flavour
  • Hard to grow, many farms do not select it as a planting choice, making it a rare apple to find in your local stores
  • Available September through February

Northern Spy

  • 1800 New York
  • Green with red blush and stripes
  • Firm and tart, this is the very best apple for baking
  • When frozen, it will maintain its shape and texture in the pie after it is thawed
  • Due to its thin, delicate skin, it will bruise easily which does not matter when you are peeling them anyway
  • Available from mid-October until February