Regarded as the finest apple for cooking due to its unrivalled taste and texture after cooking, Bramley has a unique ability to retain its tangy taste during cooking and when cooked its texture becomes wonderfully light, airy and moist. First grown from an apple pip planted by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in 1809, Bramley is only produced commercially in UK and is available throughout the year. Bramley represents more than 95% of the apples sold in UK for cooking in the home.
Braeburn was first raised in New Zealand in the 1950s and has been developed since then through selective breeding. It was first grown in UK in the 1990s in limited volumes but it was not until the early 2000s that production began to increase following the planting of selections suited to English conditions. The texture is very crisp and juicy. The overall flavour is tangy with a good balance of sweetness and a hint of pear-drops. Braeburn requires a long growing season and English Braeburn is not available until December. The variety stores extremely well and English supplies are available until May.
Cameo was found as a chance seedling in an orchard in Washington State, USA in the 1980s. The first trial plantings in England were established in 1997 and commercial production began a few years later. The variety has a sweet flavour with hints of honey and citrus. The texture is very crunchy and juicy. The first English supplies become available towards the end of October and continue until May. The Apples stores extremely well and retains its flavour and texture in the fruit bowl for longer than many other varieties.
Widely regarded as the finest of all eating apples, the variety was raised by Richard Cox, a retired brewer, in 1825 in Colnbrook near Slough. Originally named Cox's Orange Pippin, improved strains combining greater colour and size with the variety's unique taste have been planted in modern orchards. The flavour is a superb balance of sugars with tartness together with a wonderfully honeyed aroma. Texture is firm but not hard with good levels of juice. English Cox's are available from late September until early April.
Delbarestivale was found as a natural mutation of Delcorf by George Delbard in 1956. Limited quantities are grown commercially in England which become available at the end of August and last until towards the end of September. The variety has outstanding taste combining a sweet flavour with slight tartness and a hint of aniseed. The apple has a good aroma whilst texture is firm and juicy. Care should be taken in handling the apple as it is prone to bruising
The earliest English commercial variety which becomes available from the end of July until the end of August. An attractive red skinned apple, Discovery was first raised in Essex in 1949 and has a distinctive flavour. The texture is fairly crisp with good levels of juice. However, the apple does not store well and it should be eaten within days of having been picked.
This variety was raised in Germany in the 1930s and named Alkmeme. It was renamed Early Windsor In England in 1995. It is a Cox like apples that matures about three weeks before Cox and becomes available from the end of August until towards the end of September .The flavour is quite strong with a hint of honey and good balance of sugars and tartness. The flesh is cream-coloured and the texture is fairly dense and is juicy.
Russets are very distinctive apples both in terms of appearance and taste. This variety is by far the most important russet grown commercially in UK and it is available from late September until early February. The variety represents about 6% of the total volume of the commercial production of eating apples grown in UK.Egremont Russet
Empire was raised at Cornell University in the USA in the 1940s. Limited quantities are produced commercially in England which become available from October to January. Empire has a deep maroon-red skin colour and white flesh. The flavour is sweet with a hint of melon whilst the texture is crisp and juicy. The variety has good resistance to bruising.
The variety was first raised in New Zealand in 1934 by J. H. Kidd. Considerable selective breeding took place in the 1950s to improve the variety. Trial plantings took place in England in the 1980s but it was not until ten years later that commercial planting began to develop in UK. Today, Gala is the largest single variety of eating apple produced in England. The apple has an attractive red striped skin and the flavour is predominantly sweet. Texture is crisp but not hard and is juicy. First English supplies become available in late September and last until early May.
Most Golden Delicious sold in Britain is imported as the variety requires higher temperatures and greater levels of light than are usually found in UK. English production is restricted to very small volumes that are normally sold from November to January. The variety was found as a chance seedling in the USA in 1890. Flavour is rather weak with mild sweetness balanced with slight acidity. Texture is reasonably firm and juicy.
Jazz is a cross between Gala and Braeburn which was raised in New Zealand in the 1980s. Trial plantings were established in England in 2002 and the first volumes of English production became available in 2007. The skin is a shiny bright red colour over a golden background. The flesh is cream-coloured, juicy and with an outstanding crunchy texture. The variety is very juicy and the strong taste is an excellent balance of sugars and tartness with a strong hint of pear drops. English Jazz is available from November to April and maintains its quality extremely well in the fruit bowl.
Jonagold was raised in New York, USA in 1943. It is a large fruiting apple which has never been popular with British consumers and whose fruits are frequently poorly coloured. Small volumes of English commercial production are available from December to March. The taste is sweet and the texture is reasonably firm and juicy but the skin can be rather tough. However, poorly coloured fruit of this variety has little taste.
Kanzi, which means 'hidden treasure' in Swahili is a cross between Braeburn and Gala which was raised in Belgium and introduced in 2004. The skin colour is a shiny orange red over a golden background. The flesh is cream-coloured, crisp and juicy with outstanding crunch when eaten but not too hard. The taste is a delicate balance of sugars and tartness with a pleasant apple flavour. Supplies of English Kanzi are available from November to April and maintains its quality extremely well in the fruit bowl.
First raised in 1904 by Laxtons of Bedford, the variety was introduced in 1931. The skin colour is bright red over a green background colour. The flesh is creamy white, coarse textured and firm The fruits are sweet with a good balance of acidity and an attractive aromatic flavour. The variety is available in October and November. The same identification number is used for Laxton's Superb - a variety which was raised by the same company in 1897. It is available in late October and November. The flavour is Cox like with fine-textured, juicy, firm flesh and a good balance of sugars and acidity.
First raised by Laxtons of Bedford in 1907, the variety was introduced in 1923. the skin colour is bright red stripes over a golden green background colour. The flesh is creamy white, slightly coarse-textured, firm and juicy. The flavour is sweet and aromatic with a strong sweetly scented aroma reminiscent of strawberries. A deficiency of the variety is that its skin can become slightly greasy.
This identification number is used for a number of different varieties many of which are imported. Therefore, it is important to look for the Union Jack logo or the country of origin on the packaging or shelf labels.
Red Jonagold is a selection derived from Jonagold which has greater red skin colour and a stronger flavour. Small volumes of English commercial production are available from December to March. The fruits are large in size and the taste is sweet. The texture is reasonably firm and juicy but the skin can be slightly tough.
This variety was originally named Fiesta and was raised at the East Malling Research Station in Kent, are receiving a preliminary commendation from the RHS in 1987. It has a sweet aromatic flavour with crisp texture and good levels of juice. First volumes become available in October and last until January.
Royal Gala is selected strain of Gala with brighter red skin colour. Gala was first raised in New Zealand in 1934. Considerable selective breeding took place in the 1950s to improve the variety. Trial plantings took place in England in the 1980s but it was not until ten years later that commercial planting began to develop in UK. Today, Gala is the largest single variety of eating apple produced in England. The apple has an attractive red striped skin and the flavour is predominantly sweet. Texture is crisp but not hard and is juicy. First English supplies become available in late September and last until early May.
Rubens is a cross between Gala and Elstar which was raised in Italy in 1988. Trial plantings were established in England in the early 2000s and the first commercial volumes became available all a few years later. The variety has a bright red skin colour over a green gold/ background. But the flesh is crispy, juicy and firm with a crunchy eating quality. It has a sweet taste similar to Gala but with more aroma. supplies of English Rubens are available from October to March.
First raised in Canada in 1926, English Spartan is available in October and November. The skin colour is dark purple and develops a bloom which does not affect taste. The flesh is clean white in colour with a crisp texture and good levels of juice. The taste is sweet with a good balance of acidity and a strong apple flavour.
This early Russet variety was raised in about 1870 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and is thought to have been a chance seedling. The skin is predominantly brown and lightly russeted with flecks of red over a light green under colour. The flesh is a pale cream, densely textured and is juicy. The flavour is sweet with a good balance of acidity and a slight nutty taste.
St Edmund's Pippin
But this is a second early English apple with a distinctive taste. It is available from late August until the end of September. The variety was raised near Worcester and introduced in 1874. It has a smooth skin with a green/yellow background colour with a bright red top colour. The flesh is white and relatively coarse texture but is firm and crisp with good levels of juice. The variety has a sweet taste and a unique strawberry-like flavour with a strong aromatic aroma.
Zari is a cross between Elstar and Delbarestivale which was raised in Belgium in the 1990s. The first volumes of English production became available in 2009. The skin is bright soft red stripes over a green background. The texture is firm, crunchy and extremely juicy with an outstanding apple flavour. English Zari is available from early September to November.