The Jonathan is a classic American heirloom, and has been parent to many varieties throughout the years such as Jonamac, Idared and Jonagold.
Its flavor is mildly sweet with a tart tang and subtle hints of spice. Jonathan apples contain Vitamins A and C, and they are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which has been shown to help prevent heart disease and promote healthy digestion.
Jonathan apples can be used cooked or raw and in both sweet and savory preparations. Add slices to a tart, chop and add to couscous or puree and add to a soup. The flesh of the Jonathan apple will break down slightly when cooked. Pair with dense apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Green Dragon, or Fuji to make pie filling or slow cook to make sauces or caramelized apples. Diced Jonathan will add sweetness and moisture to cakes, crisps, and bread pudding. Their slightly spicy flavor and exceptional juiciness makes them the perfect apple for use in juice and cider.
The Jonathan apple was first discovered in 1826 as chance seedling on the farm of Philip Rick in Woodstock, New York. The apple went through a handful of different names such as (New) Esopus Spitzenburg, New Spitzenburg, and Ulster Seedling. It received the name Jonathan by Jesse Buel, president of the Albany Horticulture Society. He named the apple after Jonathan Hasbrouck, who first introduced Mr. Buel to the apple that had been growing on Philip Rick's farm. Jonathan trees thrive in climates from cold to moderate and today can be found growing in apple growing regions around the world.