Empire is a bi-coloured apple which, at its best, is wonderfully crisp and sweet with great flavour. The flesh is white and the texture crisp, but open, giving a juicy and refreshing experience. The fruit has a round shape with an attractive deep red blush colouration.
Some retailers struggle to offer consistently crisp Empire apples, which is quite difficult to acheive given the parentage of soft MacIntosh. The best retailers manage such quality through attention to detail and good stock rotation.
Origin: Empire originates in New York State (NE USA) from a cross between the flavoursome, but soft, MacIntosh and the crisp, but bland, Red Delicious, creating the best of both parents.
Grown in: USA, Canada, UK, Belgium.
Empire is mainly grown across New York State, USA and Ontario in Canada, where the deep cold winters and hot summers produce this delightful apple. Empires are also being grown in England, where, after a few years of experience, growers have mastered the art of its production. The English version is very satisfying, but whether it quite beats the excellence of the US / Canadian fruit is a mute point.
Harvest & Availability: Empire apples are only grown in the northern hemisphere, being harvested in September. However, they store very well, and modern storage techniques allow up to 10 months sales without serious deterioration of quality.
- January: UK, USA, Canada
- February: UK, USA, Canada
- March: UK, USA, Canada
- April: UK, USA, Canada
- May: UK, USA, Canada
- October: UK, USA, Canada
- November: UK, USA, Canada
- December: UK, USA, Canada