Why you should be excited

Bullet is one of many southern U.S. heirloom apple varieties in our orchard that ripen late and keep well.

The story of Bullet

We confess that a few apples that have made it to our orchard did so more because their names caught our fancy rather than for more rational reasons.

When we had the privilege of perusing the incredible catalogue of Nick Botner, an Oregon apple maniac who collected literally thousands of varieties and sold us a hundred sticks of wood to graft with shortly before he retired from his Johnny Appleseed-like efforts to spread distinctive apple varieties all over.

It was on Nick's list that we saw Bullet and included it among our 100, even though we could find barely a speck of information about the variety. Oh, we had read that Bullet has nice flavour and keeps well. But that’s true of so many varieties.

What set this one apart was a name that tweaked our curiosity. Why name an apple Bullet? Is there a story behind its origins that somehow involves bullets, or is this an unusually shaped apple with an appearance that reminded someone of a bullet?

We don’t know the answers to these questions, but we’re happy that we decided to graft this variety, with its 19th century southern history and a name that will always have us wondering.

Bullet Facts

Its origins

Discovered in North Carolina, USA, sometime before 1850.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Has firm, white flesh packed with a pleasant, brisk apple flavour.


The greenish skin of this medium-sized apple is mostly covered with stripes and streaks of dull red.

When they’re available

Very late season (usually in November).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider, but all U.S. apples were used to make cider back in the day, so Bullet undoubtedly was too.

Keeping ability

Very good (about 5 months when kept refrigerated).