Why you should be excited
Wickson is a diminutive U.S. apple, bred by Albert Etter, that's a rising star in the world of craft cidermaking.
The story of Wickson
Since it appears that the main distinguishing point between apples and crab-apples -- for many people -- is a simple matter of size, Wickson teeters on the boundary between the two, as it is very small for an apple, but a bit too big for a crab.
Adding to the confusion, the man who bred Wickson, Albert Etter, said that this variety was offspring of Newtown crab and Spitzenberg crab, neither of which is a known crab-apple variety, yet both of which are well-known U.S. full-sized apples.
But no matter. This little apple packs a powerful wallop of flavour and is simultaneously super-sweet and really tart.
Increasingly, people favour this variety as a mini-snack. It's also a perfect candidate for cider. Which is likely where its future lies, as craft cidermaking re-emerges in a big way.
Bred in Ettersburg, California, USA, early 20th century.
Flavour, aroma, texture
The coarse, light-yellow flesh is juicy, with a powerful flavour, intensely sweet, while also delivering big-time acids.
This very small, roundish apple is considered by some to be a crab-apple. Its skin is bright-red flushed over a yellow-green background skin colour.
When they’re available
Late season (usually in late October).
Quality for fresh eating
Very good. Even better for cider.
Quality for cooking
Mainly used for fresh-eating and cider.
Good (about 2 months when kept refrigerated).