And the inside is stunning
Credit: Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Perhaps, like me, you have a go-to apple variety that's the only one you eat (mine used to be Gala, now it’s Granny Smith). You might not really be interested in trying other types of apples when you know that one will never top your favorite. But if you are looking to change up your apple routine, allow me to recommend the Hidden Rose apple. Because, I mean, just look at this thing.

Hidden Rose apples aren’t attention-grabbing from the outside. Their skin is an unassuming pale yellow-y speckled with red. But then you bite into it and see that the inside is pure magic: a bright pink flesh with a sweet lemony scent. That sure beats the Red Delicious you just fished out of the office fruit bin, huh.

According to Baldor, which sells the apples, they were first discovered growing wild in Airlie, Oregon, around 1960. The apples were originally known as Newell-Kimzey apples, named for the owners of the property where the apples were first found and the field manager who rediscovered the apple in the 1980s. They’re now a registered property of Dragonberry Produce, a specialty produce distributor. If an orchard wants to grow Hidden Rose apples, they first must obtain permission from Dragonberry and grow them under strict quality-control guidelines.

While the Hidden Rose apples I tried last week were a bit mealy, the flavor was very much like if the apple had been soaked in pink lemonade—sweet, tart, and juicy. I didn’t dare taint the flesh with almond butter, as I am wont to do with apples. It would’ve been extremely good with a piece of sharp cheddar cheese. I also found that they hold up well to being cooked, as I chopped one up and cooked it down with a bit of lemon juice and maple syrup for an oatmeal topping. I could also very much see myself thinly slicing another to pan fry in brown butter and serve over ice cream. Any mealiness present in the raw apples totally disappeared when they were cooked down, so I’d also think this would make a stunning baking apple, for galettes and crumbles galore. You don’t have to take my work for it. Hidden Rose apples can be purchased by the box from Baldor and Dragonberry, and they might be at your local farmers market at this very moment.