The 2nd Annual Heirloom Apple Tasting took place yesterday. 85 different varieties of apples sourced from about a dozen orchards in Maine and New Hampshire were part of the event that I helped organize along with friends Sean Turley and Cecilia Ziko.
A few of my favorites were Ashmead’s Kernel, Esopus Spitzenburg, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Frostbite, Sundance, Ribston Pipppin, Pitmason Pineapple and Red Astrachan.
Nearly all of the apples were purchased in a single day on Saturday within a few hours drive of Portland. It’s encouraging to realize that so many great heirloom varieties are out there if we just take a bit more time to explore.
For those of you without cars, Rosemont Market is the best in-town source of unusual apple varieties. There’s also a rare apple CSA that is run each fall called Out on a Limb run by Maine’s preeminent apple expert John Bunker.
Update: Here’s a complete list of the apple varieties we had on-hand for the tasting. It includes information of which orchards we bought them from, and interesting details on their origin and apple genealogy.