Why you should be excited
York Imperial is a heritage apple that’s still popular in Virginia and Pennsylvania, especially for applesauce.
The story of York Imperial
Imagine for a moment that you’re an elderly Pennsylvania farmer (your name is Mr. Johnson) who is now an invalid. It’s the early 1800s.
You spend your days watching people pass by the farm on the nearby road. One spring, you notice schoolboys regularly stopping during their walk past the front of your farm and digging around under last year’s fallen leaves beneath a seedling apple tree that sprung up by chance some years back.
They’re scavenging for apples that fell last fall. The fruit is still firm and delicious even after a winter on the ground. Mr. Johnson, it would appear you’ve discovered a great new apple variety.
And that’s exactly how York Imperial came to be.
York Imperial Facts
Discovered in York, Pennsylvania, USA, early 19th century.
Flavour, aroma, texture
Coarse yellowish flesh has a sweet, honeyed flavour. Considered an excellent fresh-eating apple.
Medium to large in size, the fruit varies in shape. Skin is heavily splashed or striped with two shades of red.
When they’re available
Late season (usually in late October).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Good (makes a classic yellow-coloured applesauce).
Very good (5 months or even longer when kept refrigerated).