Sunday, September 22, 2019

Starkey **

Large oblate apple, streaky red, with a green leaf still attached to its thick stem.

The Starkeys are particularly good this year, the way the Baldwins were last year. So I thought I'd taste one again.

Mine is large and oblate, not very ribbed, but lopsided. Viewed from above, it's an oval that suggests a capital letter "D."

The red-streaked blush covers yellow green. Fat tan lenticels are prominent in the blush, many around the base as if they have settled there.

The apple is crisp and good, medium-fine grained with some fine flavors.

The tastes are nicely on the sweet end of balanced. Within that are cream soda and berries. There is also a little nutty grain and a floral quality.

The off-yellow flesh is denser and more of a meal than a McIntosh, though Starkey nonetheless has some similar qualities.

It's sweet and good without cloying or interfering with the flavors.

More About Starkey

These are different, and better, than my 2014 tasting. I hope you will forgive me, but I am just going to quote myself in 2014 for a minute:

Starkey is enjoying a new popularity thanks to the work of John Bunker, who tracked this variety down about 25 years ago. It originated on the farm of Moses Starkey in Vasselboro, Maine, in the early 19th century.

Various sources describe Starkey as a Ribston Pippin x Black Oxford cross. Maybe.

According to Bunker, Starkey, though a fine snack fresh off the tree, reaches its true eating peak around Christmas. Alas, I ate both of mine in September.

No promises, but perhaps we shall see about that.



  1. When we spotted Starkeys in the market, your original review got me interested, so I tried them. Very nice indeed.

    1. I'm glad you got some, Pam! Likely they will be done this week.


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