Did you find a Prima apple at a farmer's market? Wondering what they are like and what to do with them? Get all your questions answered below!
When buying apples early in the season you need to have your facts straight. You need to know when the perfect moment is to get those varieties as often the early season ones don't store as well as apples to come later in the year.
In 2021, I got a batch of Gravenstein apples, one of the best early season varieties. However they were picked to early and didn't have the flavor they should have. I had the opposite experience with Prima apples. I got them at the perfect moment, peak flavor and still crisp.
Have not heard of a Prima apple? Or maybe you have already found them and are wondering what's the deal with them.
In 1958, an apple that would become known as Prima was first breed at the orchard of the Department of Horticulture at the Illinois Experiment Station, Urbana, Illinois. It was introduced to the market place in 1970. This is an early ripening variety that ripens about a month before Red Delicious apples. The apple is related to the Rome Beauty.
As with every apple this one has it's advantages and disadvantages. Prima apples don't drop off the tree early as other varieties might. They are resistant to scab, so farmers don't use as much spray with them, although I hear that resistance isn't what it use to be.
🔦 Orchard Spotlight - Hooper's Orchard (Monroe, ME) - I was able to pick my own Prima apples in early September at a beautiful orchard in the countryside near Monroe, ME. A super friendly staff greeted me and was able to point me to the fruit for picking that day. This orchard was the perfect size, not too large, but with plenty of selection of modern and heirloom apple varieties clearly marked so you didn't have to guess what you are picking. Along with the apples, we picked up some All Star Peaches, Harvest Queen Pears, Squash Blossom Honey, Ginger Gold apple cider, and donuts!
👅 What Does It Taste Like
Here is my review of this apple. Categories are on a scale of 1-10.
This apple is very fragrant. It is juicy with a good flavor, but that flavor fades the longer the apple is off the tree. So these are apples you want to use up quickly. I still have some left that aren't that great anymore, so I will probably just toss them into a batch of applesauce.
The drawbacks of the apple is like many early season apples, the don't store all that well. They will soften up in a couple weeks and the flavor will mellow out even when keep cold.
I find this same thing to be true with McIntosh apples, that are also early season, although they do hold up longer than Prima.
🍏 More Varieties to Try
Here are some other apple varieties you will want to look out for. Look for these mainly at local farmer's markets. Some stores may sell a few of these.
If you are shopping for apples in major grocery store, check out these varieties:
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.