Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Kidds Orange Red **

I am a sucker for this kind of look, a mix of colors layered provocatively.

Here russet tops the reddish orange blush, but on other samples the underlying yellow is also visible and sections of the blush are an almost peachy orange red.

This interplay of colors on Kidds Orange Red is further enlivened—or muddled—by large indistinct lentical dots smeared like the markings on an animal's pelt.

Many of these were decidedly tapered, though not the one I photographed. They are large, though not huge, modestly ribbed, and smell sweetly of cider and yeast.

Inside the flesh is a yellow off-white, coarser-grained than not, with a yeilding crunch. The flavors are marvelous, a balanced melange in which banana predominates, but there are floral and spicy notes and some vanilla and orange juice.

These are not hard to eat at all.

If Kidds Orange Red has any defect, it is that the texture is softer than I personally like. This softness may be a consequence of handling, or of age.

Kidd's, also known as Delco, is by Delicious out of of Cox's Orange Pippin. This strikes me as an audacious pairing, almost two extremes of the apple world.

Kidd's takes after its mother in many ways, and Orange Pippin praises it highly.

Mr. Kidd was a New Zealand apple breeder. The variety is about a hundred years old, the mother of Gala and father of a variety called Telstar.



  1. This one has not grown on me. It gets high marks from many people though. Mine tend a little too much toward delicious, which is probably responsible for the texture going south. It can be very good, but it's usually only good. That might be my climate or growing conditions, but delicious has definitely left it's mark on the flavor. It certainly does seem like an odd cross to make.

    1. I've heard similar critical skepticism from others, so I guess this is a "controversial" apple.

      In any case I am not surprised to know that Kidd's, like so many apples, needs particular conditions to express its magic. I recall how very much better were the King Davids that you sent me, versus those grown near me.

    2. I’m on the fence on getting this tree. It sounds to good to be true. I have read that it is not a particularly crunchy apple for people that like that in an apple, but I may try to do grafting of it.

  2. This is, in your opinion, a 0 stars apple ?!

    1. Hi Anon,

      I rate apples only once a year (it's easier on me). So it would be more accurate to say that Kidd's is, as of now, an unrated apple.

      But stay tuned.

    2. Thanks for clarification.
      I own a very small garden and I would like to plant three applestrees. The climate is temperate. The amount of water is not a problem, I could irrigate it manually as many times as needed. If you were to recommend me three apples, what would they be (I do not necessarily need to collect "stars")?
      Thank you very much.

    3. I'm flattered, but it's an awfully general question. Most people think their climate is temperate, are you in Zone 6? Do you grow other fruit? What kinds of apples do you like?

      If you live in the States your extension service could help you to identify some suitable choices. You'd probably want 3 that ripen at different times, and that bloom at the same time so as to be able to pollinate the others.

    4. I live in Europe, hardiness zone for my city is 6B. There are serious problems with spring flower frost (almost all apricots varieties are affected).
      July and August here are very hot (35-40 Celsius). I have, also, pears Williams and Doyenne du Comice varieties. For kind of apples that I like: Kidds Orange Red and Rubinette Rosso I found them agreeable. I mention that I have not tried Cox Orange Pippin or Ashmead Kernel so far. I like to eat an apple fresh, I don’t want to store it. I'm not interested in planting common varieties such Golden, Starkimson, Gala, Florina or Jonathan, which I can easily buy from the market.
      Thanks a lot Adam.

    5. Anon, I think you should seek advice from local growers where you are, what does well, what is easy to grow.

      Here in New England I should want an early apple such as Williams Pride or Gravenstein, a russet, and a vinous apple, perhaps one of the modern hybrids that are disease resistant. But those reflect my tastes and there is nothing special about them to anyone but me.

      For more on my tastes, of course, there is this blog.

    6. Thanks Adam.


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