Northern Spy

Flavor: Tangy and tart, spicy

Approximate Ripening: Late September – early October

Uses: Pies and deserts, juicing, hard cider, eating

Trivia: The original seeds were brought from northwest Connecticut to East Bloomfield, NY (south of Rochester) by Elijah Taylor in 1800.  Taylor set those seeds in Herman Chapin’s orchard.  The trees died, but not before some seedlings were rescued by Chapin’s brother-in-law, Roswell Humphrey.  Humphrey raised the trees on his farm, eventually releasing Northern Spy to the public in 1840.  Wagener and Esopus Spiztenburg are considered possible Northern Spy parents, but no one has been able to pin that down for sure.

Notes: Does it matter that this stout, ribbed, often lopsided apple isn’t a looker when it makes such delicious pies?  “Spys for pies” goes the saying, and boy is it true.  Northern Spy brings a tangy, spicy tartness to your baked goods, bringing them alive with flavor.  Sweet-toothers need not apply, but those who appreciate a good tart apple with some complexity—notes of pear and cherry color Northern Spy’s flavor—will find this apple to be just great for eating out of hand, too.