Early American Apple Varieties Courtesy of Eric Sloane

October 23, 2012 |  by

Not only was the process of selecting, picking, and pressing apples markedly different in the 18th and 19th centuries, the apples themselves have changed a great deal.  Gone forever are thousands of varieties which once were a part of the American landscape.  Even apples which were extremely popular in mid-nineteenth century America have largely disappeared.  Have you ever hear of:

Summer Apples:  Pearman, Red Astrachan, Benoni, Bevan’s Favorite, Bohanan, Caroline Red June, Early Harvest, Early Strawberry, Early Joe, Garretson’s Early, Golden Sweet, Keswick Codlin, Lyman’s Pumpkin Sweet, Manomet, Oslin, Summer Belle-fleur, Sweet Paradise, Summer Rose, Summer Queen, Sops of Wine, William’s Favorite.

Fall Apples:  Emperor Alexander, Autumn Swaar, Beauty of Kent, Bailey Spice, Clyde Beuty, Duchess of Lodenburg, Cloth of Gold, Fall Pippen, Fleiner, Garden Royal, Sassafras Sweet Cole, Jewet’s Fine Red, Queen Anne, Maiden’s Blush, Lyman’s Pound Sweet, Porter, Pomme Royal, President, Spice Sweet, Smoke House, Tomkins, Sweet Paradise.

Winter Apples:  Siberian Crab, Flowering Chinese, Bourrassa, Bell Flower, Belle et Bonne, Carthouse, Dominie, Fameuse, Fallawater, Fort Miami, King, Jonathan, Limber Twig, Mother, Pomme d’Api, Minister, Ortley, Peck’s Pleasant, Pickman, Pryor’s Red, Rawle’s Jannet, Russet Golden, Seek No Further, Winter Blush, Winesap, Wine Apple.

There were thousands more, most of which are sadly no longer with us.  The autumn landscape, air cider and recipes are decidedly poorer without them.  For a great book on the subject, please see Vrest Orton’s “The American Cider Book:  The Story of America’s Natural Beverage”.  I highly recommend the book.


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