Zestar! apples are a delicious early season apple with a brown sugar flavor.
Whenever hear the name of an apple variety that i haven't tried, I immediately want to try.
Even thought moments before I never heard of it. now I must have it. Many people are that way with new forms of technology, like the latest iPhone.
Thankfully my obsession is much cheaper!
I have heard a lot about the Zestar! apple, mainly for it being one of the parents of the SweeTango. I finally got to try my first slice of Zestar! (yes the exclamation point is officially part of the name) this morning.
To give you some background information, the Zestar! was developed at the University of Minnesota, just like it's offspring and the Honeycrisp.. It was created by combining "State Fair" and "MN 1691". It was released in 1998.
Zestar Apple Review
Here is my review of Zestar apples (Rating Scale 1-10)
Zestar is a flavorful apple with notes of brown sugar. It is sweet but with just enough tartness to balance it out. It's a very good apple, when it's good. I often buy a lot of them near or around Labor Day as one of the first good eating apples of the year.
The problem with Zester is that it bruises very easily and does not stay crisp long in storage. I think that this is why it never reached the popularity that the Honeycrisp apple
When are Zestar! Apples in Season?
You can begin seeing Zestar! apples near mid to late August. That is when they will be the most crisp. When you find them in mid to late September they aren't as crisp anymore and are better suited for applesauce. A very good applesauce though - not sure how good it is s a baking apple.
By October I don't really see Zestar around anymore, so its' a short season for sure.
Where to Buy Zestar! Apples
Here is a list of stores, farms, or orchards that I have heard carry Zestar! apples
- Whole Foods Market (select stores)
- Country Blossom Farm (Minnesota)
- Lapacek's Orchard (Wisconsin)
- Summersweet Orchards (Michigan)
- Johnston Fruit Farm (Ohio)
- North Star Orchards (New York)
- Oneill's Orchard (New York)
- Fair Oaks Farm (Indiana)
- Quarry Hills Orchard (Ohio)
- Tree Mendus Fruit Farm (Michigan)
- Goodwin's Orchard (New York)
- Afton Apple Orchard (Minnesota)
- Door Creek Orchard (Wisconsin)
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.
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Favorite Apple Related Kitchen Tools
Here are some apple related kitchen tools I recommend:
Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer : Allows you to slice apples into either 8 or 16 pieces
Zyliss Soft Skin Peeler : The best peeler I have ever owned. Does a great job peeling an apple.
Mirro Foley 2-Quart Stainless Steel Food Mill : A great tool for making your own applesauce. You can make the sauce without having to do any peeling.