Ashmead's Kernel

Why you should be excited

Ashmead's Kernel is an old-time English apple that's homely to look at, but truly memorable to eat.

The story of Ashmead's Kernel

Here's one for true apple aficionados. We're talking about folks who don't reject an apple lacking the perfect big shiny sameness of Red Delicious. Those who don't worry about its drab, lumpy appearance, let alone its relatively small size. And those who can live with -- and maybe even admire -- the rusetting that industrial agriculture has indoctrinated us into considering a fault (which it isn't, by the way).

Yep, Ashmead's Kernel is an apple for the connoisseur who considers taste to be king. For nearly three hundred years, those in the know have placed this fine apple at or near the top of the heap in that department.

Discovered in Gloucester, England way back in 1720, Ashmead's Kernel is perhaps the greatest of all fresh eating apples, despite it's sad-sack appearance. We're talking about crisp, juicy flesh and a distinctive flavour that's highly aromatic, sweet, yet slightly acidic at the same time.

While you can cook with an Ashmead's Kernel apple, you'll likely agree that it's best suited to fresh eating. Or for use in cider. It keeps well, so you can stash a few away in the crisper of your fridge and enjoy them for fresh eating several months after harvest time.

And it doesn't hurt any that Ashmead's Kernel is relatively easy to grow, produces regularly (after sometimes keeping us waiting a while before a young tree starts to make fruit) and resistant to nasty ol' apple scab.

A winner all-round, we say.

Ashmead's Kernel Facts

Its origins

Discovered in Gloucester, England, 1720.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Excellent, distinctive flavour: sweet, slightly acidic, highly aromatic. Crisp, juicy flesh.


Let’s face it. This is a homely apple. Described as drab and lumpy. Also fairly small.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in mid-October).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Very highly thought-of as a cider apple.

Keeping ability

Good (up to 3 months or more when kept refrigerated).