Fruit can be tricky to get at the right time. It can be hard to predict when something is going to be ripe. It changes year to year - the weather is huge factor. It can make planning a trip difficult. It's not like being able to go into a store after Labor Day and know you can buy Christmas decorations (how crazy that thought use to be, is now common place). I wanted to pick a certain variety of apple this year, but my time is limited and only had one weekend to go to this particular orchard. Good news, bad news. Bad news, I was a little bit too early. Good news, I was able to spot pick a couple of these apples to at least try. Spot picking is when a grower selectively picks apples off a tree instead of stripping all the apples off the tree in one go around. The variety I am talking about is a Spigold - a cross between a Northern Spy and a Golden Delicious. Northern Spy is known for it's pie quality "Spies for Pies" and Golden Delicious is known as that yellow apple that I grew up with (along with the green one and the red one).
Spigold was introduced in 1962 by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. The size of the fruit runs from medium to large. It is ready to harvest late in the season - sometime in October each year.
My Experience with this Apple (Rating Scale 1-10)
Apple Flavor, 7
Where I Bought Them, Brookwood Fruit Farm (Almont MI)
Overall Feeling: Unlike the Northern Spy, the Spigold is good for out of hand eating. It is nicely balanced between tart and sweet. It is the perfect mix of it's two parents, which doesn't always happen when you cross two varieties together - most of the time that is not the case. It is crisp and very juicy. I read that the flavor is better when allowed to age a bit off the tree. I only had a very limited selection, may have to wait for another year to test that. It has good storage qualities and bakes well like it's Northern Spy parent with the need for less sugar. One grower I talked with felt this was the last good baking apple released. Most of the newer varieties now aren't as good for baking, just out of hand eating. Overall it's a great apple to have on hand for any use. I recommend at least buying one and trying it for yourself if you come across it.