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Wickson

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.

Wickson Facts

Its origins

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.

Appearance

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.

Keeping ability

Good (about 2 months when kept refrigerated).