Ashmeads Kernel is a very old traditional English russet apple, originating in the 1700s in Gloucester. Ashmeads Kernel has golden-brown skin with a crisp nutty snap, exploding with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom. This English antique is dense, sugary and aromatic with intense flavor, characteristic of russets. It is highly acidic and sweet, with lots of flavor. If you like mild, sweet eating apples, this intensely sweet and acidic apple is not for you, but it is a cult favorite. In Apples of Uncommon Pleasure, Steve Wood says that “It’s a delicious trip to that fine line between pleasure and pain”, and that he uses Ashmead in many Farnum Hill Ciders to “instill that knifelike acidity that makes your mouth water for a second glass, or a second bottle”. Winner of taste tests.
Although often considered as a connoisseur’s dessert apple, Ashmead’s Kernel is a versatile apple, not just for eating fresh, it can also be used for salads and cooking, and it is a highly-valued apple for juicing and hard cider.
Small to medium-sized fruit variable shape, often lop-sided. Greenish to golden brown russet skin with reddish highlights. Creamy yellow flesh is aromatic, crisp and sweet. Fruit picked early is somewhat sharp and acidic, but mellows after a few weeks off the tree. Ashmead’s Kernel ripens mid-October, and improves in storage, with peak flavor December – February. Keeps 3-4 months. Winter hardy tree, begins bearing at young age.
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