With hundreds of apple varieties on John Bunker’s farm in Palermo, there’s bound to be more than a few odd ones in the bunch. Here are five apples Bunker says are particularly interesting for their exceptional taste, unusual quality or outstanding use in cooked recipes.

Duchess of Oldenburg: Originating from Russia in the 17th century, this apple is excellent for pies and sauces. It is extremely hardy, making it ideal to grow in Maine. These medium-sized apples ripen in mid-summer.

Trailman: Despite its small size, this apple packs a burst of flavor, tasting “sweet like candy.” Commonly considered a crab apple, it ripens in August. Also very hardy, the apple is translucent yellow with a reddish-brown blush. Created in Alberta, Canada, in 1973.

Wickson: This apple has an intense flavor perfect for ciders. Bunker cites this as one of the few types of apples that makes a great single variety cider. Also good for fresh eating, this apple was developed in California in 1944.

Black Oxford: A Maine native, this apple variety originated in Oxford county, circa 1790. This apple is a deep purple, almost black, speckled with white. Apples ripen in late October and stay fresh from December to March. This is an all-purpose apple that tastes great fresh, in pies or as cider.

Redfield: Generally too tart for fresh-eating, this apple is great in pies, sauces and ciders. The two-toned  flesh is striking — red on the outside fading to white at the core. These apples were intentionally bred in New York to create red applesauce in 1938.


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