England's Somerset county is well known for its cultivation and production of apples. At least 156 different varieties originate from this county. The apples of Somerset are best known for their use in cider. A large number of the apple varieties originating in this county have been cultivated for particular characteristics that make them good for cider, but there is also a large number of dessert and culinary apples.
This apple is well suited for making cider, particularly "sharp" cider, which is high in acid but low in tannin. It also has culinary uses. The fruits mature late in the season. This particular variety was developed in the year 1818, near the border between Somerset and Devon counties.
The Tom Putt apple originated in the eighteenth century in Trent. One of its distinguishing features is its versatility; it can be made into sharp cider, eaten raw or cooked. The variety was developed by the Reverend Tom Putt.
The Yarlington Mill apple is one of the more famous cider apples. It was found growing out of a water mill in the early twentieth century by a famous grower named Harry Masters. It is used for making bittersweet cider. One disadvantage of the tree, however, is that it often produces biennial harvests, taking two years to finish the cycle.
The Kingston Black is another well-known cider apple. It is used to produce bitter sharp cider. It is considered by some growers (such as Stephen Hayes of Fruitwise Heritage Apples) to be the best of the cider apples in terms of flavor. Like the Yarlington Mill, the tree produces biennial harvests. It is a challenging tree to grow.
The Chisel Jersey comes from Martock and was developed in the 1950s. It is used to produce sweet cider and bears fruit in November.
Harry Master's Jersey
This variety was raised by Harry Masters, the same grower who discovered the Yarlington Mill apple. It produces an annual crop. The apples make a bittersweet cider.
The Stoke Red was developed in the nineteenth century and produces a deep, red, bitter sharp cider.
This variety produces large apples that are used to make sharp cider. The tree is large and sheds its fruit in the middle of the season.