One of my main reasons for shopping at the farmer’s market is I find produce that I will never see at the store. Case in point, the Vista Belle apple. This early season apple (ripening in mid-July) has a very short shelf life. They really should be eaten within a couple days of picking, when they begin to lose their crispiness. At that point they are just as good as that apple that has been sitting in the back of your fridge for six months. So this isn’t something that would appeal to a grocery store who seek items with longer shelf lives. Buying directly from the farmer or planting a tree yourself are your only options for trying this apple.
The Vista Bella apple was developed in New Jersey. I found mixed reports on the exact date, some websites say in the 1950s, while others in the 1970s. The name “Vista Bella” is also the name of a place in Guatemala. These apples are also grown there.
The apple itself is a yellow-green color. Some do have red blush. The blush occurs when parts of the apple are exposed to the sun. The parents of this apple are the Melba and Senora apples, neither of which I have heard of before.
My Experience with this Apple (Rating Scale 1-10)
Tartness : 9
Apple Flavor: 6
Overall Feeling: These were quite tart. A little too tart at least for me to eat right out of hand. If you can get over the tartness there is some flavor to be had. Not my favorite of all time, but if I got a batch of these again I would turn them into some applesauce. I would not use them for baking as they won’t hold their shape.