Friday, November 4, 2011

Suncrisp **

In October, Phil's pitches these as tasting like Macoun. They are very different apples, yet I can see parallels. Both are excellent and have floral overtones in their respective flavors.

As a bonus, Suncrisp is a great late-season keeper to hold and eat in December.

This large medium-sized apple, conical and slightly ribbed, is mostly a light spring green, the hues shifting through various shades to nearly yellow.

The blush is a translucent red wash, rendered a bit orange and dull by the peel color behind it.

Suncrisp has irregular lenticels rough with russet and is nice and firm if you squeeze one.

The creamy white flesh of this fruit is coarse grained and juicy, and quite firm and crisp. The flavor is even and sweet with just enough tartness. The old timers would call this "sub-acid;" it's a nice balance.

In this mix swims a little pear, some honeyed floral notes, and a vinous quality. Sweet grassy flavors come forth towards the end of the chew, when most of the juices are exhausted but the apple is not done.

These flavors hang together very well, and Suncrisp's firm texture is gratifying.

I thought Suncrisp might keep well, so I held one back into early December. It was spectacularly crisp and juicy, and I wish I had stockpiled a small bag of them for the coming lean season.

The flavors of this kept Suncrisp had matured a bit, with mellow Golden Delicious favors of honey and pear coming to the fore, but still recognizably the same apple. The sweet grassy finish has shifted tantalizingly into a subtle lingering aftertaste.

Update from December 2011: These wonderful apples keep showing new flavors. Today I tasted the caramelized sugar of a creme brulée, a knockout sophisticated flavor. By all means set some of these aside for yourself next fall if you can.

Further update from December 2017: These flavors grow even more intense under some circumstances.

Suncrisp is a cross between Golden Delicious and the offspring of Cortland and Cox's Orange Pippin.

I had my first Suncrisp last year, but it was unripe. While I reviewed it (check out that cabbage flavor note), I am pleased to have some better examples this year, and to shift the "review" label from that article to this one. (And I have got to get more of these next year.)


  1. I just had a Scarlett O’Hara apple from Shelburne Farm in Stow and couldn’t help but think of the Suncrisp apples I got at Phil’s many years ago. Unfortunately I can’t find much info about the then, but your tasting description above is so similar. Know anything about those?

  2. Stephen, it's a new variety to me. With a name like that, are they red-flesh apples? The new owners at Shelburne Farm seem to go for those in a big way.

  3. I purchased Suncrisp apples 10 years ago and had them shipped to me but the place where I did that no longer grows them. Where can I find them for shipping to me?


    1. These are not uncommon in New England (and I suspect elsewhere), but shipping is a whole other thing.

      Perhaps another reader will be able to help you. You have a good month or so before they are ripe. Good luck!


Join the conversation! We'd love to know what you think.