Why you should be excited

Stark is a 19th century Ohio apple promoted as a good commercial variety, given its firmness and thick skin.

The story of Stark

Most of us shop for apples in grocery stores without even thinking about the qualities necessary for an apple to withstand the realities of modern retailing while remaining appetizing.

In addition to keeping for months and months, an apple will only be marketable if it can stand up to being sorted and packed and transported and tossed around a bit by retailers without becoming a bruised mess.

Stark is such an apple, which is why nurseries in 19th century U.S. midwest promoted it as a good apple tree for commercial growers to plant.

Thick skin and firmness -- plus decent flavour -- are a winning combination for this good keeper.

Stark Facts

Its origins

Unknown origins likely in Stark County, Ohio, USA, before 1869.

Flavour, aroma, texture

The firm and coarse yellowish flesh is crisp, fairly juicy and mildly subacid.


A medium to large-sized ribbed apple, streaked and splashed with dull red or purple skin colour, usually with light brown and whitish dots.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in mid-October).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Keeping ability

Good (3 months or more when kept refrigerated).