Why you should be excited
Black Twig is an apparent seedling of Winesap that has a confused history in the U.S. south.
The story of Black Twig
It takes several pages for the reknowned apple hunter Lee Calhoun to describe in his book Old Southern Apples the never-completely resolved confusion surrounding this variety.
Is this the same apple as Paragon? Are they both seedlings of Winesap? Even if they are different, have they been mixed up so many times that we’re as likely to have one as the other and no easy way to tell them apart?
More questions than answers to be sure, although we do know this variety is similar to Winesap, only larger and redder.
The rest was fodder for debate in the late 19th century news media of the U.S. south, pitting Arkansas against Tennessee.
Black Twig Facts
Uncertain origins in 19th century Arkansas or Tennessee, USA.
Flavour, aroma, texture
The yellow flesh is on the sharp side when first picked, but mellows over time in storage to a pleasantly mild subacid with luscious apple flavour.
Large, roundish and usually deep red in skin colour.
When they’re available
Late season (usually in late October).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Good. Also good for cider.
Quality for cider
Has a long history of use in ciders in the United States and is being used in heritage cider blends today.
Very good (5 months when kept refrigerated).