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Elstar

Why you should be excited

Elstar is one of the best Golden Delicious offspring, a sweet apple that’s widely grown in Europe.

The story of Elstar

If you’ve never heard of Elstar, you likely haven’t shopped for apples in Europe lately. 

Popular on the Continent and also grown commercially in other parts of the world, this is one of many varieties that aims to improve upon Golden Delicious.

By most accounts, it’s reasonably successful in doing so, as the other parent variety, northern Europe’s Ingrid Marie, appears to add a nice balance to the sometimes cloying sweetness of Golden Delicious.

That’s likely because Ingrid Marie counts the great English Cox’s Orange Pippin as one of its parents. Yes, this is one more descendant of Cox.

This apple breeding thing can be incestuous, to be sure. Fascinating, too.

Elstar Facts

Its origins

Bred in Wageningen, Netherlands; introduced in 1972.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Intense honeyed, sweet flavour, balanced by nice acidity. Relatively crisp and very juicy flesh.

Appearance

A fairly small apple with golden yellow skin marbled with an overlay of deep red.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Good.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Has caught the interest of some cider-makers, due to its excellent sugar/acid balance and complex flavours and aroma.

Keeping ability

So-so (1 or 2 months when kept refrigerated).