Before the ubiquity of Honey Crisp and Granny Smith, I thought I hated apples. The ones you got at the store were almost always one of three varieties: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Macintosh. I didn’t like any of them. They were mealy and lousy. But, of those three, the one that I hated most of all was Macintosh.
Honestly if you gave me a bushel of Macintosh apples, I would be torn between using them to line my compost pile or just putting them out with the weekly trash. They are horrid little things and I will never understand why people eat them. The flesh is soft and mealy, the skin is thick and waxy. The flavor is lousy. Macintosh are to apples what grapefruit are to citrus.
Once we found a bottle of “Macintosh Juice” for sale, and I bought it on a final attempt to find redemption in this little apple. Dana and I both poured ourselves little glasses of it, tasted it, and dumped the rest down the drain. Terrible. Absolutely terrible.
We were at the orchard picking peaches in early August, and were alerted to the fact that there were some early varietals of apples ready for picking too. The apple in question was Williams’ Pride, one we had never tasted before. It wasn’t until we were already committed, sitting in the wagon with buckets in hand, that the farmhand described them as “like a macintosh”. Great.
We picked half a bucket of them to test, without high hopes. When we came home I rinsed one off, cut a slice, and took a bite.
Actually, they’re really pretty good. Maybe it’s just because it’s August, and we haven’t had fresh apples in months, but I really think they’re a decent apple. There are definite similarities with macintosh, I can see why the farmhand described them that way. However, they don’t have any of the problems. The skin isn’t thick or waxy. The flesh is crisp. The flavor is slightly tart, reminiscent of Jonathan (which itself is pretty good, though not my favorite).
Overall, Williams Pride is a decent apple in general and is pretty amazing for the time of year when it comes in season. If you’re jonesing for apples in late July or early August, Williams Pride is going to hit the spot. Later in the season you’d do much better with Gala, Jonathan or Honeycrisp instead.