Ambrosia Apple Review
"The Chosen Apple"
Ambrosia is the food of the Gods, and while this reclaimed Canadian splotch-ball fails to ascend to the vaunted halls of immortality, it is still a very good apple fit for consumption by us mere mortals. Plucked from Canadian obscurity by The McDougall Family of Wenatchee, WA this honey-sweet, juicy and crisp, straightforward-tasting apple was given the divine nudge to become an affordable, year-round chosen fruit. And while it has parted the sea of lesser apples to emerge as a popular staple, it’s lack of flavor complexity and inconsistency on the shelf makes it fall short of the similar God-like Honeycrisp. So while not a false idol, it’s hard to put all of one’s faith in an apple so imperfect.
- FLAVOR PROFILE -
AMBROSIA APPLE BIO
British Columbia, Canada
(now Wenatchee, WA)
17 thoughts on “Ambrosia Apple Review”
Utter bullshit. Delicious, juicy crisp apples.
I think Ambrosia apples deserve a re-visit – their main issue is their longevity and consistency. Get a good one and I’d dare say it’s on par with a honeycrisp. You want a very fresh one with translucent looking skin that doesn’t dent in easily, with blushing that isn’t too red and shouldn’t cover most of the apple. Crisp, juicy, not dense, wonderful flavor. Get a “bad” (mediocre) one and it will be more mealy and sickly sweet – I would agree they aren’t very good that way. I suspect that apples that have been in longer cold storage are the issue.
Yes, I’m not even normally someone who would eat non-tart apple varieties and I think these are really quite excellent. The skin is very thin and tender and flesh both crisp and soft. The flavor isn’t terribly complex but the hints of honey or vanilla are unique.
Here’s the thing: I find Ambrosia to be very grower-dependent.
If you get the right Ambrosia apple- my favourite company has been Okanogan Apples- the quality of it trumps the Honeycrisp. It’s bright and sweet with just a bit of tangy to hedge off the sugar. The bite is crisp and juicy and dense, but it isn’t packed tight like a Pink Lady so it’s easy on your teeth. It’s about as hard to bruise as a Honeycrisp, and its bruises don’t bloom out into the surrounding undamaged fruit like on macintoshes or goldens. This Ambrosia is my perfect eating apple, and she travels very well.
But if you get the wrong company, they aren’t even comparable fruits. Subpar Ambrosias are exactly as the article writer describes: juicy, but no flavour and unacceptably mealy.
A good Ambrosia apple, to me, is hard to the touch but not too heavy. The yellow of the skin trends to a green hue, and there’s some red to it (~50% coverage). It also should smell bright and fresh **AND NOT OVERRIPE**. If it only smells mildly sweet or it doesn’t smell like much, it’s not gonna taste like much.
Glad to see people coming through for Ambrosia.
This is the only ranking on the site that I vehemently disagree with. A fresh, crisp ambrosia honestly superior to a honecrisp in my opinion.
In my experience ambrosia apples are consistently fantastic, featuring a celery style crunch that can have you cleanly snapping off a quarter of the flesh with a single bite and a rich, honey like flavour with a pleasant acidity that almost seems like it shouldn’t be possible with how dense and firm the apple itself is.
I’m Canadian and live near to where they’re grown so it may be an issue of them not traveling all that well, but if you’re ever in Toronto I’d personally reccomend picking up some Presidents Choice brand apples (or most other brands, really) and giving them another chance. I find the best ambrosias to be large, very firm ones that are primarily red in colour with large sections of gold.
I will concede that there is a wide difference between a good ambrosia and a bad ambrosia, with the bad apples being about as disappointing as the ones you’ve described in your review. However if you can find them in season and get them fresh, I think you’ll find that they are worth a second chance.
Yeah dude you too
I’ll add another request to revisit this apple. I’m eating New Zealand grown ones locally in season and they’re the best apple that’s ever been available at most supermarkets. Your top rated apple is also terrible when it’s past its best, so to be fair Ambrosia deserves another go.
Okay I’ll revisit next time they’re in season!
100% agree with the rest here. They are as described when out of season. For sure. So is any Apple. But they are definitely up there with Pink Lady’s and HoneyCrisps
This is so false its painful and makes me doubt the entire integrity of your site.
have to agree with commentors above. On your scale, I’d have to increase the juiciness and the skin, but will concede the flesh and the crispness. Hell I’d even probably dock the density because I’ve had some gum harrowing experiences on par with the Envy, despite a satisfying snap-and-tear chewing cycle.
But the taste? I have no idea what’s going on here, if growers are slouching on selection, if the season is kind of narrow, or if it just doesn’t keep particularly well, I’m not an expert, but I have to concur that this one needs a re-evaluation. It was Ambrosia that brought me back from the brink of apple nihilism and to find it ranked just marginally above the softballs-masquerading-as-fruit is startling. What enchanted me about it was a volatile aromatic component that’s hard to describe but the scent, juice, and sweetness created a phenomenon where it was like my mouth was full of nectar. I find it is completely absent in the more mediocre individuals. I’ve also found that the SweeTango does something similar but it more muted. Ambrosia deserves an intensity rating of at ~least~ 3.5, if not a 4. Sweetness as well, but again if you’ve only ever had dry ones I could see why you rated it that way.
Anyway, I do not know what it will take to get you an optimally fresh and reputable Ambrosia but add me to the choir requesting a second chance. I dunno if we’ve all been deluded like the lotus eaters, intoxicated by a truly subpar apple, but I think it merits consideration that Ambrosia is one of only three contentious takes in the entire “Barely Worth It” bracket.
I will re-evaluate this apple — and look for them at orchards too
Joining the pile-on: a good ambrosia apple is incredible, being perfectly-crisp, fragrant and juicy.
Not down with your Mutsu views either, but damn if your writing isn’t entertaining and enjoyable.
I’m tempted to hunt down a Newtown Pippin in a fit of masochistic pique to see how bad it could be.
Keep up the controversial takes!
I’m going to chime in a little more here as well. I had bought Ambrosia’s by the 10kg bag for a few years and would pick probably 3 bags full every fall. Their picking window seems really short, they store relatively well but turn horridly mealy (while staying presentable) after a while—though not any faster than most apples.
Fresh ones seem to be hard to find in the US, though. Recently moved to NY and have struggled to find any good apples a few months after picking season, let alone Ambrosia’s, while I could still get fresh-tasting (well-stored) ones even last week while I was back for the holidays.
I find fresh ones have a denser “crunch” relative to a Honeycrisp’s “crisp”. They’re also sweeter and far less tart, almost a bit like a Fuji but less fatiguing. Definitely a very thick skin, though, perhaps that’s the golden delicious lineage showing through.
Another Ambrosia fan here that found your ranking very surprising. I looked at the ranking to see if Ambrosias were at the top of your list, as they are my favorite. I hope your reevaluation does it justice and thank you.
Okay but does it taste like marshmallows ?
Despite what most people seem to think, I have to completely agree with you. Ambrosias are a painfully underwhelming apple. It is true that if you can get your hands on the right type of fresh Ambrosia than they’re pretty good (still no where near the top of the list, but good nonetheless), but for the vast majority of the population the only way you’re going to get your hands on an Ambrosia is at the local supermarket, where you can expect to find a hideous mealy excuse of an apple