Why you should be excited
Melrose is a great multi-purpose apple that looks good and tastes even better after some time in storage.
The story of Melrose
Ever been to Ohio? If not, taste a Melrose apple and let your imagination take you to 1940s Canton. Or maybe Columbus.
Melrose is Ohio’s official state apple, a cross between Jonathan and Red Delicious. It's the product of Ohio's apple breeding program during the first half of the 20th century. We can thank Dr. Freeman S. Howlett of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station for this fine creation.
It’s medium-large, roundish with a yellow background skin colour that's almost entirely blushed with bright red. With rich flavour and coarse, juicy flesh, Melrose is a top-quality fresh-eating apple that’s best when it’s been stored for a while. It also cooks well, holding its shape.
There's something about Melrose that just shouts out "I am an apple and proud of it!". Maybe it's that rugged appearance and hearty size. Or the fine sugary sweetness that's perfectly balanced by a touch of tart acidity. And the darn thing will keep perfectly under refrigeration for a good four months.
If you're wondering why industrial agriculture wouldn't snap up a variety with all these great characteristics, you may or may not be surprised to learn that this awesome apple was rejected due to its colour being too 'dull' and not conducive to a good machine polishing.
Sigh. We think you'll want to forgive Melrose for this not-so major failing and appreciate this otherwise magnificent apple anyway.
Bred in Ohio, USA; 1944 introduction.
Flavour, aroma, texture
Firm, coarse, juicy, creamy white flesh. Slightly acidic flavour that improves after some time in storage.
Very good. Large, flattened shape with a dark-red streaked and flushed skin colour over a yellowish-green background.
When they’re available
Late season (usually in late October).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Quality for cider
While its good sugar/acid balance could be useful, Melrose is not particularly known for use in cider.
Very good (up to 4 months when kept refrigerated).