Somerset Apple Varieties

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.

Royal Somerset

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.

Tom Putt

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.

Yarlington Mill

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.

Kingston Black

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.

Chisel Jersey

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.

Stoke Red

The Stoke Red was developed in the nineteenth century and produces a deep, red, bitter sharp cider.

Crimson King

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.

Keywords: apple varieties, somerset county, cider apple varieties, somerset cider apples

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Gertrude Elizabeth Greene has been a freelance writer and editor for 10 years.Greene writes about a variety of topics including cooking, culture, nutrition, pets and home maintenance for websites such as eHow, GardenGuides and the Daily Puppy. She holds degrees in both philosophy and psychology.