Why you should be excited
Chisel Jersey is a bittersweet cider apple that was a big star among aficionados in the 1960s and ‘70s.
The story of Chisel Jersey
Among the relatively small (but growing) number of North Americans who drink cider with any seriousness, how many know what apple varieties went into their favourite blend?
Not many, we’d guess, although it's safe to say the number is rising fast.
But in a few countries, things are already quite different, so an apple like Chisel Jersey – a highly astringent bittersweet cider apple – can have been a rising star back in the ‘60s and ‘70s – much like Chardonnay among oenophiles – before sinking back into the pack as tastes evolved.
Chisel Jersey may have lost favour with some cidermakers, but it sure grows well in our west coast climate. In fact, this may be our most vigorous and happy grower of all 365+ varieties we're growing, not just among the cider varieities. We kid you not.
And one day, perhaps we in the New World will know and care enough about cider, and the apple varieties used to make it, to ponder the merits of Kingston Black, Bulmer’s Norman and Porter’s Perfection to those of Chisel Jersey and many more.
We can dream…
Chisel Jersey Facts
Discovered in Somerset, England, sometime in the 19th century.
Flavour, aroma, texture
This cider apple has bittersweet, highly astringent juice.
This conically-shaped apple is flushed with red.
When they’re available
Very late season (usually in November).
Quality for fresh eating
This bitter apple is unlikely to be eaten, except by wildlife and farm animals.
Quality for cooking
Not going to work well as a cooker, due to its bitterness.
Quality for cider
In its element. A very good cider apple.
One tends not to keep cider apples for long, so it's not relevant.