Why you should be excited
Chesapeake is a rare bird: a 20th century apple variety started from seed that wasn’t from intentional breeding.
The story of Chesapeake
And what an excellent new variety it was: tasty and a good keeper, coming from trees that are hardy and productive.
This, of course, is how almost all the thousands of new varieties originating in North America during the 17th and 18th centuries came into being.
But the practice wasn't so common anymore by the 1950s, mainly because it’s such a crapshoot, what with the odds of roughly 10,000 to one against a planted seed resulting in a good quality apple worth propagating.
For those of us who appreciate apple diversity, this is a reminder of the value of keeping an open mind when nature creates new varieties.
Grown from a seed in Wallingford, Kentucky, USA; introduced in 1967.
Flavour, aroma, texture
The white flesh is juicy and flavourful.
A medium to large-sized apple with smooth skin that is mostly red in colour.
When they’re available
Mid-season (usually in early October).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Mainly used for fresh eating.
Quality for cider
Doesn't have a particular history as a cider apple.
Good (2 to 3 months when kept refrigerated).