Monday, August 8, 2011

Sonya (Nevson)

The happy start of the apple harvest is not when I expected to discover a new (to me) variety from New Zealand at the supermarket. Nonetheless Sonya has finally made it to New England.

Since this is another modern apple bred for export, I begin with a few preconceptions. This apple will be sweet, crisp, and juicy, satisfying but in many ways interchangeable with its sweet, crisp & juicy brethren such as Jazz, Gala, and so forth.

Jaded and cynical I know. But go ahead, New Zealand Apple Empire, surprise me with something different.

These tapered and ribbed apples are an attractive variegated red over yellow, with tan lenticels and a few superficial blemishes. Some samples were quite elongated. These are on the smaller side of large.

The apple feels nice and firm and has no aroma, unbroken.

The coarse light-yellow flesh is juicy and sweet, with floral notes (very like violets) and a satisfying crunch. There's an interesting hint of carrots in the finish. Sonya is sweet, light, and pleasing.

A daughter of Gala and Red Delicious, Sonya marries Gala's floral flavors with the best of the Delicious qualities.

I would expect this easy-to-eat variety to have broad appeal. I won't say no to another, either.

Sonya is this apple's marketing name, but Nevson is the true variety name. Some day Nevson's patent will expire and farmers will be able to grow this apple freely; however the public will buy only Sonya, trademarked forever.

That's the theory anyway.

As for my expectations: Bang on. But what did you expect?


  1. I had my first one of these on Friday from the supermarket. It was very firm and quite delicious. Easy on the stomach as it has a light taste and very little acidity. The flavor was a bit tropical with the strongest taste being bananna. I also got a flavor of those orange circus peanut candies (not sure they are even food to this day). What a nice apple!

  2. Matt, I don't think I have said how much I value your own observations that you have been posting as comments. You are an acute observer. (Thanks to your wife, too.)

    There are so many ways that my reviews may be limited, for instance if my tasting sample is off. I feel guilty about that sometimes, passing judgment on an apple variety that is older than I.

    It is great to have second opinions, and I hope my readers appreciate that. I do.

  3. I wasn't expecting to like these much because I'm not a fan of Red Delicious, but Sonya is a new favorite! I think the size is perfect for a quick snack and the taste is Gala-like but more delicate and nuanced. More sweet than tart and crisp but not too crisp.

  4. @Anonymous above, I am similarly not a big fan of Red Delicious. But I find I do enjoy many varieties that have RD-like qualities, for instance Mollie's Delicious and Ambrosia.

    I think of these apples as delivering on some of the promise that Red Delicious makes but then is unable to fulfill.

  5. I'm having a Sonya right now. I detect a tiny bit of tartness as the juice hits my mouth, and then a familiar aftertaste which I couldn't put my finger on. I read your review and, you're right, it's carrot. I like it. Very juicy, firm, crunchy.

    1. Carrot, and very sweet! I've noticed similar tastes in a good Sweetango.

  6. I find the apple to be very cleansing to the pallet. It is a very crisp clean and delish apple. I honestly have never had a better apple.


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