Friday, September 11, 2009

Redfree (Red Free)

The name refers to this apple's (a) color and (b) resistance to disease and general ease of care.

Red Free is a classically shaped apple, ribbed and medium large. Its red blush ranges from streaky to saturated over light yellow green. This coloring is decorated with faint light lenticels. Its calyx is clenched tight.

Red has white juicy flesh more dense than coarse, crisp but not breaking. Its flavors are mild, balanced, and light. A slightly vinous quality adds interest.

The official name is Redfree, as bestowed by the cooperative apple breeding program of Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Stations. The colloquial two-word version is also used.

Red is that rarity, an early apple and a good keeper. I suspect my sample was at least a month off the tree when I bought it in New York City on September 2. It would have been crisper in early August, but is not bad a month later. Still I'd be inclined to pass it over at the start of September, when so many interesting choices abound.


  1. We picked up a Redfree today at the farmer's market here in Wisconsin. This was the first one I have tried. The flavor was mild and balanced. The texture was smooth and pleasing. It gave a nice crunch and was a pleasant eating experience.

  2. Down in southern Indiana, we're picking these now. Ours are more striped and redder than the picture. Definitely my favorite summer apple.

    1. Nathan, that's great! You are well ahead of us.

      You should tweet your fruit to tell people what you've got.

    2. We're updating on Facebook-- I don't have a decent cell phone for twitter. Love the blog, by the way.

    3. Thank you, Nathan! Every apple here so far still unripe.

      By the way, you don't need a phone to tweet, and it's a quick way to get the word out & update your web page with the latest.

      If you decide to try it let me know and I will follow you there.


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