Prairie Spies and Victories from Ames Farm

Brian Fredericksen from Ames Farm writes: “Our long awaited Prairie Spy & Victory heirloom apples are ripe and available at the Minneapolis Farmers Market both days this weekend. Prairie Spy: This old fashioned but complex apple has an unusual texture and spectacular flavor as a cooking or cider apple. Its an extremely finicky apple to grow and ripen and indeed many seasons they never ripen. The Prairie Spy stores very well as a keeper. Also, the flavor actually seems to improve in storage which is not true of most apples. The Victory apple also is another heirloom cooking apple that ripens late that no one else seems to grow anymore as they fall off the tree when ripe and don’t keep. They have a creamy, tart flavor that stands out over a Haralson or Granny Smith in a baked dish. David Bedford (U/M horticulturist behind Honeycrisp, Zestar, and SweetTango whom I bought my orchard from) still calls me in fall for some as he believes they are a superior cooking apple. They were introduced after World War II along with the Haralson. The Haralson keep better and are more rugged so they got all of the attention while the Victory faded from view and are an orchardist’s nightmare.”

One Comment

  1. kjrsten

    I’m looking forward to some Prairie Spy apples! I discovered these a few years ago at the Nicollet Mall Farmers Market (Thursdays in DT Mpls). They are great for cooking, but I really like eating them fresh, too. Probably my favorite apple.

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