Why you should be excited

Katharine is one of those apples that mystifies us simply because it’s far too good to be this little known.

The story of Katharine

Albert Etter is known pretty much only by North American apple enthusiasts and even then, only among those intrigued by the story of a brilliant individualist who bred important strawberry and apple varieties, gaining little credit and even less money in the process.

Katharine was Etter's personal favourite of all the apples the California-based innovator bred during the early years of the 20th century, yet it’s even more obscure than his other varieties.

Admittedly, it can’t be grown everywhere, as it needs a long, warm summer to ripen. It’s definitely borderline for us to grow on Salt Spring.

But we’re intrigued by Etter’s story and keen to give Katharine a try. We certainly won’t criticize if you feel similarly.

Katharine Facts

Its origins

Bred in Ettersburg, California, USA, circa 1920.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Aromatic, with subtle and complex flavours.


A large, pretty apple with yellow-green skin partly covered with red and orange blush.

When they’re available

Very late season (usually in November).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking


Quality for cider

Not particularly known for use in cider, but it would be interesting to see how those aromatics translate in cider.

Keeping ability

Very good (5 months or more when kept refrigerated).