Winesap apples are an apple cultivar developed in the mid-1800s. These apples may sometimes be difficult to find in commercial settings because they can be difficult to handle once they have ripened, as they tend to crack. They can most commonly be found at farmers' markets and grocery stores that carry a broad selection of apples, including heirloom and rare varieties. People who want to grow their own Winesap apples can order seedlings through a nursery.
When ripe, Winesap apples have a rich red color over a greenish to yellow base and some have completely dark red skin with no hints of green at all. The flesh of the apples is extremely juicy and yellow to cream in color. Flavorwise, Winesap apples are tart but not excessively so. They are a highly flexible apple cultivar suitable for both cooking and eating plain, although because they are so juicy, they can make pastries like pies soggy unless cornstarch or flour is added to absorb some of the moisture.
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These fruits are visually attractive and in regions where they are available, they are popular for displays of fruit, fruit baskets, and other types of presentations where people want to be able to use bright red apples. People who want to purchase Winesap apples in bulk may be able to negotiate a discount for buying apples by the crate. Crated apples can often be delivered by special arrangement for individuals who cannot transport them.
People interested in growing Winesap apples can order trees through a local nursery. Staffers will usually have recommendations on when to plant based on the climate conditions in the area and their own experience with apples. Like other apples, these trees need to be well cared for with annual pruning and appropriate fertilization to keep yields consistent. It is also possible to graft slips from a Winesap apple tree onto an existing apple tree if there is no room for another apple tree in the garden.
Known formally as the Stayman Winesap, after the person who developed the cultivar, Winesap apples are not capable of self pollination. They must be paired with another apple varietal that does produce pollen in order to set fruit. Golden and red delicious apples are commonly partnered with Winesap apple trees, although other trees can be used as well. People should not rely on community trees for pollination, as the pollen may not travel all the way to the Winesap tree.