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Spartan

Why you should be excited

Spartan is the best known of all apple varieties originating in British Columbia, a pleasant McIntosh-like apple.

The story of Spartan

Introduced to the world in 1936, Spartan is almost certainly British Columbia’s proudest contribution to the world of apples.

The product of a cross between McIntosh and Newtown Pippin, its success led to extensive plantings in Canada as well as in Switzerland, Poland and – to a small extent – England. It’s the Spartan’s McIntosh-like flavour that wins over apple lovers, along with a nice balance of sugar and acid and its crisp and juicy white flesh.

Perhaps no longer a ‘sexy’ apple from a marketing perspective, Spartan also suffers from susceptibility to canker. So it’s not exactly the perfect apple.

But you still can’t argue with well over 75 years of success.

Spartan Facts

Its origins

Bred in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada; 1936 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Crisp white flesh with a juicy sweetness conveying berries, melons or even wine. Some nice balancing acidity as well.

Appearance

A classic-looking medium-sized deep red-skinned apple with bits of its yellow-green background showing through.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Good.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Keeping ability

Good (3 or 4 months when kept refrigerated).