This blog post is going to cover different varieties of apples with "pearmain" in the name. Find out what that means and what varieties are out there. Many would be considered heirloom apples.
As I got into the world of heirloom apples I began discovering many varieties of apples had the word "pearmain" in them. I thought I wonder why that is or what that means.
Today I am going to go through all the different types of pearmain apples I have come across and what they are like.
🍐 What Does Pearmain Mean?
The first one I came across back in 2011, was Adam's Pearmain. This brings up two questions, who is Adam and why does he have a pearmain?
A Pearmain is the shape of an apple that resembles a top or a pear.
The apple is usually larger at the top and tapering at the bottom. Not all specimens of pearmain apples show the trait really well.
📋 Types of Pearmain Apples
Here are the different types of apples with the Pearmain name in them. The name is descriptive, it doesn't mean that these apples are closely linked. It's like adding the word "red" to an apple name.
- Adam's Pearmain
- White Pearmain
- Lamb Abbey Pearmain
- Blue Pearmain
There are many more, most with an English origin. But these are the ones I have encountered myself and have tasted them.
🚜 Harvest Time - Mid October
You saw a picture of this one at the very top of the blog post. This particular pearmain apple originated in the United Kingdom around 1826. It is named after R. Adams of Norfolk. The parents of this apple are unknown.
Flavor - The apple is sweet with plenty of acid. The taste is a mix between fruity and nutty. It's a dry apple. It's not all that juicy, which seems to be a requirement for our modern apple varieties. It's flavor and acidic makes it a good choice for a baking apple and it's could be great for a salad. I am not sure how quickly it browns, but really that is just cosmetic anyway.
🛒 Purchased at Eastman's Antique Apples in Midland, Michigan.
🚜 Harvest Time - Late September to Early October
As you can see in the photo above this apple is very light in color, almost white. I have seen some pictures online on them with some red blush but the ones I found where just a solid color.
The exact date when this apple came to exist is unknown. But it's believed to have originated back in the 1200s. That is a really old apple. However this is debated as other source say it's from the US in 1849. Regardless it's still a lot older than any of us reading this!
Flavor - I wasn't super impressed with this apple but it certainly wasn't bad. It has a sweet flavor but nothing outstanding. It is said to be an excellent pollinator for other apple varieties, which could be a reason for it's longevity.
🛒 Purchased from Weston's Antique Apples at the Dane County Farmer's Market in Madison, Wisconsin.
Lamb Abbey Pearmain
🚜 Harvest Time - Mid September
I am someone who really appreciates small apples (read about my love for the Chestnut Crab apple). I like having a good amount of skin to flesh to bite into. I am never a fan of those super large Honeycrisp.
Whenever you plant an apple from seed, you aren't going to get the exact same apple. You are getting it's offspring. The only way to get the same apple is by grafting. This apple was discovered when a woman named Mary planted a seed in Lamb Abbey, England. She got lucky that it produced a good apple that we are still eating 200 years later.
Flavor - This is a delightful little apple, with both sweet and tart flavors. Some would say it has pineapple notes, I didn't really taste that. The orchard I bought it from also use the apple in their heirloom cider blend. It is a firm apple.
🛒 Purchased from Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont.
🚜 Harvest Time - Mid October
Unfortunately I didn't have a photo of one to show you.
This is a variety that we used to get when I worked for Whole Foods Market. We sourced from a local orchard that sadly when out of business when it's owner got sick. What stands out to you about this apple is that it has blue tints to it. No it doesn't look blue like the sky or like Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, but it has dark purpish color that could be considered blue. I would say it's like plum blue if anything.
The apple was discovered in 1833. It's a good choice for the tart apple fan but I don't think it's too tart for out of hand eating. It's said to be a good cider apple.
🍎 More Apples To Try
If you are an heirloom apple fan like I am I want to give you some other apples to try out. You will have to look at my post on "Pippin' apples as several varieties share that name just like with Pearmain. Once you read that list here are a few more to have on your radar:
Have you tried this apple? What did you think? Leave a comment below telling us. Be a helper and share where you found it. You may make someone's day with your insider info on where to get them! If you are a true apple lover, you'll want to check out all of our apple reviews.