Bought some apples labelled Hawkeye at a farmer's market a month ago, hoping to taste the real-deal old-timer. This grower has dozens of varieties, including lots of antiques, and he grows high quality fruit. His helper that day said that the Hawkeye was his personal favorite, and I think he meant it. So far, so good. I was really looking forward to finally tasting a Hawkeye, and the apples were crisp and juicy and sweet. But bad news -- they tasted just about like a Delicious, at least the ones that have not been in storage too long. To me, the flavor was sweet, but flat and one-dimensional with just a hint of grassiness. From what I've read, the Hawkeye actually tasted great, but these did not impress.
So, here's my question. At least a couple of regulars on this forum -- Jafar and DanielW -- know the original Hawkeye. Could you, or anybody else, plEASEtell me what it tastes like and what you like about it?
I have a small graft of Hawkeye on a larger multigraft tree. This year was my first taste. I thought it was a hood tasting Apple with real Apple flavor. Im no good at notes of this or that, so I need to leave it at that.
I apologize if I've given the impression that I've tasted Hawkeye. I don't recall that I have.
I have tasted "good" Red Delicious apples in the 70s and 80s that were grown in Yakima, WA. I don't know what sport they were. These based on my 40 year memory and the palate of a child. Crisp, juicy, and sweet would have qualified as good in that context. It is/was a sweet apple with a distinctive, but not complex, flavor.
Presumably Hawkeye is something like that. I think my tree that had Hawkeye grafted to it succumbed before producing. It's good to know that Daniel could potentially become a source for scion wood.
Thanks to both of you. I have a hard time describing apples flavors, too. You may be entirely right, Jafar, that people just wanted a uncomplicated sweet apple. Maybe Delicious is just the Big-Mac of the apple world.
There are a couple of trees in Seattle that are supposed to be real Hawkeyes. They fruit, and the apples have the right shape and color, but the growing conditions here are totally wrong for the variety. They get full of scab, and maggots. I don't imagine the summers here are warm enough for them to develop flavors like they do over in Eastern WA. Which means Delicious from here taste like cardboard. Maybe next year, I'll get over to Stehekin, brave the bears, and try for some real Hawkeyes.
Warren Marnhart, Former HOS president and author of "Apples for the 21st Century", often wrote about how different apples grow better in some climates than in others, as you say, katmendeux.
He mentioned Gala as only being good grown in hot climates like E. WA or OR. I think he mentioned that McIntosh and Jonagold are only good in areas where it is cool when they are harvested. That's a great book. I'm going to have to dust off my copy and read it again, now that gardening, baseball, and skateboarding are mostly over.
Hawkeye? Some folks swear by it. I bought a few, a couple of years back from a local grower. To me, it was just a Red Delicious, albeit not as red. But, of course, I am spoiled.
I usually dine on Spitzenberg, Ashmead's Kernal, and Newton...Etc, Etc. Fresh off of the tree.
The big deal with Hawkeye or Red Delicious, is that it is a mortgage lifter. The trees produce huge crops of apples. The apples can be so tightly packed, that the clusters seem to mimic grapes in density. As delicious as the vintage apples that most of us enjoy are, growers moved on to newer varieties for a reason. In many cases, that reason was more production, and thus more cash.