Salt Spring Apple Co.
Our Apples

Our Top 25

Here they are: our premiere selection of apple varieties. We consider these to be the varieties most likely to consistently produce magnificent and memorable fruit in our Salt Spring Island orchard. Read more


Cider Kings

We definitely don't stop at 25 varieties. In fact, we consider these 17 traditional cider varieties (with a couple of crabs and a diminutive super-juicer thrown in) to be the secret to Real Cider. They're most certainly worth checking out. Read more


The Whole 333

In a world blessed with thousands of apple varieties, not making our Top 25 or Cider Kings lists is hardly cause for embarrassment. Every one of these 333 apples is a winner in our books. Read more


Why you should be excited:

Zestar! is an excellent early-ripening apple that can handle cold winters. Nice. Despite its gimmicky name.


apple_zestar.jpgThe story of Zestar!:

What to do when one’s ‘thing’ for being entirely accurate comes up against one’s ‘thing’ for avoiding ridiculous gimmicks?

It seems that accurate wins out for us, as we have grudgingly agreed to write the full name Zestar! with that silly exclamation mark attached. As if the name wasn’t gimmicky enough already… 

But let’s focus on the apple and not on the University of Minnesota’s marketing prowess.

Here’s a very nice apple that ripens early, crisp and tasty, growing on a tree that can withstand harsh mid-continent winters. A great late 1990s addition by all accounts.

Except for the ridiculous name with that damn exclamation mark...

Zestar! Facts

Its origins:

Bred in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; introduced in 1999.

Flavour, aroma, texture:

White, crisp flesh. Nice sweetness balanced by tartness. Its promoters say there's a hint of brown sugar in the flavour.


This fairly large apple's green background skin colour is mostly flushed with a nice, bright red.

When they’re available:

Mid-season (usually in mid-September).

Quality for fresh eating:


Quality for cooking:


Keeping ability:

Good (2 months when kept refrigerated).

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Salt Spring Apple Company Ltd.

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