Why you should be excited
Oliver is a 19th century U.S. apple that's brilliant red-skinned, with eye-catching dots and very nice to eat.
The story of Oliver
Back in the day when people took an interest in such things as fruit exhibits at World's Fairs, Oliver grabbed the attention of folks at Chicago's World Columbian Exposition.
It did this because it's a real eye-catcher: round, glossy, brilliant red, covered with many yellowish dots. And Oliver had more in its favour than appearance, as it's also got nicely crisp and juicy flesh, pleasant subacid flavour and good keeping ability.
With all that going for it, why has Oliver not been a more famous variety?
We don't know the answer, but we do know this is just one of dozens of varieties that similarly deserve a whole lot more attention than they get.
Grown from seed near Lincoln, Arkansas, USA, early 1800s.
Flavour, aroma, texture
The yellowish flesh is fine-grained, crisp, juicy and mildly subacid.
A glossy apple that is brilliant red in skin colour, highlighted by stripes of various shades of red and numerous light-coloured dots.
When they’re available
Late season (usually in late October).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Mainly used for fresh eating.
Quality for cider
Undoubtedly used a lot for cider back in the day, but we can't find any references reporting on its quality.
Good (2 or 3 months when kept refrigerated).