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Northern Spy Apples

Northern Spy apples are a very late season, large and stout apple. It imparts a bit of a tartness in its bite, but more of a cider-quality flavor with hints of pear and sweetness.

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The Northern Spy apple tree was first planted in the early 1800s by Herman Chaplin in an East Bloomfield, New York orchard using seeds from Salisbury, Connecticut. Though this tree would not live long enough to bear fruit, sprouts taken from the original tree and replanted by Roswell Humphrey would go on to produce the first Northern Spy apples. In 1852 the American Pomological Society listed the Northern Spy as a new variety of promise and a variety worth cultivating. Its popularity soon spread throughout New York as well as to northeast apple growing regions. Today the Northern Spy apple is grown mainly in the northeast United States as well as at a few specialty orchards on the west coast.


The Northern Spy is as versatile as apples come. Its characteristic flavor is tarter than most popular varieties, and its flesh is harder or crunchier than most, with a thin skin. They can be served raw, baked, roasted, sautéed or slow cooked to a puree. Northern Spy is commonly used for desserts and pies, as well as juice and cider. It is an excellent apple for storage, tending to last long due to late maturation.

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