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Sweet Sixteen

Why you should be excited

Sweet Sixteen is a versatile apple that's delicious to eat fresh and distinctively flavoured when baked.

The story of Sweet Sixteen

Depending on what varieties you check out first, you might think Salt Spring Apple Company is biased in favour of old classic apple varieties. Or you might think we're obsessed with newfangled modern varieties that are disease-resistant to the max.

But really, if you check them all out, you'll see that we love both, plus everything in between that's truly excellent.

Sweet Sixteen was a relatively early entry into the 'modern' disease resistant apple category, although it's this apple's fine eating qualities that have allowed it to stand the test of time since its 1973 introduction.

Sure, it was marketed as a hardy, vigorous, early-bearing apple growing on disease resistant trees. But the accolades Sweet Sixteen has received over four decades have less to do with all of that and more to do with its unique flavour, firm, crisp texture and aromatic qualities. Not to mention the fact that it's almost as good a cooking apple as it is a fresh eater.

Truly a multi-purpose variety, Sweet Sixteen is the one to try if you're skeptical about all the apple varieties that have been introduced more for the convenience of growers than the taste buds of apple eaters. This one most certainly scores highly among both audiences.

Sweet Sixteen Facts

Its origins

Bred in Minnesota, USA; 1973 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Firm, crisp, aromatic, moderately acidic, sweet.


Very good. Large-sized, with red skin colouring striped over a green background.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in late September).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Very good, with a unique vanilla-like flavour when cooked.

Keeping ability

So-so (1 to 2 months when kept refrigerated).