Terribly sorry, the involuntary noxious punster that resides within is temporarily not controlee. I'm over-excited because of the arrival of the Honeycrisp apple season, something I did not even know about until a few years ago. Whenever I moan and groan over the variety and quality of stone fruits and berries available in the Pittsburgh area, I remind myself that these absolutely terrific apples do particularly well around here, and could not be grown in most of California.
Why? Because in most of California the winters are not cold enough. (Poor dears.) This apple is the top absolute best out of hand eating apple I know. This comes from a woman who loves apples, and cherishes all sorts of apple flavors. I even had two trees when I had my own garden- a Cox's Orange Pippin and a Westfield-Seek-no-Further-both of which I planted myself. I do not say this lightly!
Do not waste this apple cooking it- it will be ordinary if you do. Further, though it will store, it is much better the fresher it is, because the story here is texture. Not that the flavor isn't good. It is a very, very tasty apple, sweet, a bit winey, and a tang. But there are other apples with flavors more complex and interesting.
This apple is so crisp that you can hear it crunch in the next county. It is so juicy that it is like drinking a glass of sparkling cider. And like I said, the flavor is very very fine. Also, the season is short for the freshly picked ones. Get some if you can.
My friend Ilene discovered these apples (which by the way, were first grown at a midwestern university in the not too distant past, and are not an appalachian native discovery) by chance a few years ago. She was only able to get a few at the farm store, but shared with me most kindly. The following year, we were both at a semi-local Apple Festival (the kind of thing with tractor rides and excessively beribboned craft items), where they were selling bulk apples from giant barrels in a barn.
Most barrels were labeled on the side. We found that one barrel to the side was unlabeled, but had some familiar looking apples inside. Tried one, and it was a whole barrel of Honeycrisps. As you can see, it is not a conventionally pretty apple (I personally find it very nice to look at, but you know what I mean) and I guess they didn't think anyone would care for them. They were cheap. We were greedy. It was great.
Those days are over. Supermarket Honeycrisps now cost more than other kinds of apples. I am going to slice one up and eat it right this minute. Hope you can find some too. As to its appearance, well, if Cezanne was picking something to paint today, I think he'd go for this one before a Red Delicious every time. It has multiple color shadings, stripes, freckles, and a nice round apple-y shape.