Aunt Rachel

Why you should be excited

Aunt Rachel is an old apple from the southern United States that ripens early and delivers very nice flavour.

The story of Aunt Rachel

The rationale for its name long since evaporated into the unexplained past, Aunt Rachel is an apple known to some simply as Rachel. But mostly, it’s not known at all, as this is a variety that – for many decades – grew only in Chatham County, North Carolina.

Only when apple hunter Lee Calhoun, who happens to live in Chatham County, set to work did it become known and spread slightly more widely than in the past.

And this is a good thing, as Calhoun reports that Aunt Rachel is an excellent early season apple, a juicy highlight to the first few weeks of apple season.

It’s a pretty one, too. The sort of apple that causes one to admire folks like Lee Calhoun.

Aunt Rachel Facts

Its origins

Likely discovered in Chatham County, North Carolina, USA, unknown date (almost certainly pre-20th century).

Flavour, aroma, texture

The flesh is juicy and almost pale greenish, with a nice subacid flavour.


It's a medium-sized, lopsided apple with pale yellow background  skin colour, covered mostly by a pretty array of thin, red stripes.

When they’re available

Early season (usually in late August).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider, but likely useful for adding some acid to blends.

Keeping ability

We'll let you know when we find out.