Why you should be excited
Bancroft is an early 20th century Canadian apple that once was commercially important in Ontario.
The story of Bancroft
I felt slightly un-Canadian as a child, never enjoying McIntosh apples, despite the variety’s fame and Canadian origins.
My problem was the softness of the flesh, which – for me – outweighed the Mac’s pleasant juicy flavour.
Today I regret my rejection of soft-fleshed fresh eating apples, given that this preference of mine is now more widely shared than ever and many, many once-popular varieties are now largely forgotten as a result.
Enter Bancroft, a Canadian-bred apple with McIntosh one of its parents and soft flesh one of its attributes. Not to mention excellent, refreshing flavour.
So many perfectly good varieties are ignored because they are soft. And I'm hardly in a position to criticize others for sharing my preference for firmer-fleshed apples…
Bred in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 1935 introduction.
Flavour, aroma, texture
The soft flesh is juicy and packs a refreshingly fruity flavour.
A classic-looking dark red apple.
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
Not particularly known for use in cider, but like many heritage varieties, it can contribute a very nice sugar/acid balance to blends.
Good (2 or 3 months when kept refrigerated).