SnapDragon Apple Review

"A Chomp-Worthy Newcomer"

87
Excellent
SnapDragon Apple

This chomp-worthy newcomer from Cornell University’s Apple Breeding Program is the company rival to the parallel developed Ruby Frost. But that thick-skinned ice queen is incinerated by the SnapDragon’s crisp flesh, exceptional juiciness, and expectation-surpassing “Monster Crunch.” A semi-unsightly mythical offspring of the Honeycrisp, the fantastically branded SnapDragon is endowed with its mother’s best familial qualities that have secured the reign of her wide-ranging empire for the past several decades.

However, if the Honeycrisp empire were bequeathed to the SnapDragon it would quickly fall. Despite its titanic crunch, mellow flavor notes of what some may describe as “vanilla” or “melon” are far too understated to keep the masses satiated for long. Additionally, with a tree that “lacks vigor”, this dragon has proven to be a monster of a problem for apple breeders hoping to spread their wings beyond New York State.

BONUS POINTS: +1 Branding, +1 Crispness, +1 Density, +1 Flesh

Taste
Crispness
Skin
Flesh
Juiciness
Density
Beauty
Branding / Consistency
Cost/Availability

- FLAVOR PROFILE -

SWEETNESS

2/5

Red Apple Icon
2/5

TARTNESS

0.5/5

Red Apple Icon
0.5/5

INTENSITY

1.5/5

Red Apple Icon
1.5/5
SNAPDRAGON BIO

PARENTAGE

Honeycrisp x

Golden Delicious x

Monroe x Melrose

ORIGIN

Cornell University, New York

YEAR

2015

AVAILABILITY

Late Fall

BEST USES

Munching, Salads

27 thoughts on “SnapDragon Apple Review”

  1. Dropping this here since apparently you’re a hermit who doesn’t use email (or contact pages.)
    Have you tried the Green Dragon apple? Apparently it’s been around for a long time under various trademarked names, and I’m surprised it hasn’t taken off. It totally defies expectations – it’s a Golden Delicious offspring full of juice and flavor, and a green apple that tastes like spun sugar! Sweetest apple I’ve ever had. A bit one dimensional without any tartness to balance that, but still very good. Maybe people ignore it because of the outward Granny Smith resemblance, but there’s certainly none in flavor!

  2. Something unique about SnapDragons is that their advertisement and guarantee of being grown in New York is really useful for me. I have anaphylactic reactions to apples grown in different places, something to do with soil or pollen differences we’re not sure, but New York apples have always been fine and having that label of exactly where they came from allowed me to finally start consistently having apples again, and now I have 2 with every breakfast like a proper addict.

    1. (I’m aware most bagged apples list their place of origin, but New York is the only place that I already by circumstance know doesn’t affect me and I’m not keen on risking an ER visit just to find out what other apple origins are fine or not.)

    2. Born on the Eastern Seaboard

      Funny, I came to the same conclusion about apples from the Northeast after realizing my mouth didn’t itch at all after eating Macintoshes, which are very rare here. Put it down to growing up over there, shrugged it off, but maybe there’s something more allergenic about western seaboard orchards in general?

      Back on topic, I do love (also not itchy) Snapdragons for the taste and small size.

  3. I find these Snapdragons have quickly become my favorite apple. They are consistently snappy and sweet. Even after a few days in the fridge they have amazing crunch and are NEVER mealy.

    I had been go-to gala, then a honeycrisp fan before. I recently tried some sweetangos and I must say I prefer the snapdragons!

  4. I tried these on a whim once a few years ago and was blown away by how tasty they are. They’re crunchy, juicy and have a lovely mellow sweetness (and there really is a hint of vanilla). My favorite apple, the one huge drawback being their relative rarity. I hadn’t been able to find Snapdragons since before the pandemic and I’ve felt like a junkie going through withdrawal. Imagine how thrilled I was to find them at Costco today! They taste every bit as good as I remember. Finally got my fix! Now I just have to resist the temptation to eat the whole box in one day.

  5. As the name suggests this apple has an impeccable snap. Almost like popping open a fresh soda can. A sip from this apple has the refreshing taste of a gentle spring breeze with small bursts of flavor to keep you from falling asleep. My main complaint is the slight yet sudden bitter taste you get from that first taste in each bite, but that is quickly mellowed out by a sweet juicy flood.

  6. Finally got my hands on these here in Michigan. Every time someone offers them here, they’re completely sold out by the time I make it there. IN MICHIGAN. This is an apple country state. We’re picky about our apples.

    I have to say, this apple is amazing! “Mellow melon” is perhaps, a fair descriptor, but I prefer to say it has a “complex floral” flavor, far from one note. It reminds me of a “smaller cousin” of Envy, even though they’re not closely related as cultivars go. But where I class Envy into the “ultra dense jawbreaker” apples and it is certainly harder and sweeter than Snapdragon, it cant stand up to the honeyCRISP parentage with a coarser grain that doesn’t reward the eater’s pallet as well as snapdragon’s fine-grained crunch. Definitely a new fav…when I can find it.

  7. i just started to buy these apples and to my surprise they were the best i have ever had it sweet crunch reminds of my childhood when i would run around my grandpas apple orchard and help grandma bake the pies in my opinion i feel this immaculate app should be first. Now my grandparents have passed but i would love to recreate these memories when my kids bless me with a new generation of sweet apples.

    1. As one of the creators of this apple, with Kevin Maloney, we’d love to hear of your opinion of it. Please share it with the next generation and let us know of their reaction.

  8. I adore SnapDragons, but their Monster Crunch variant is AMAZING. Sweet, almost spicy. One of the “fullest” flavors I’ve ever head from an apple. Truly spectacular. Gotta try it!

  9. dreamingofapples

    I tried this apple once three years ago and still dream of it longingly. it was the best apple i’ve ever had, but i haven’t been able to find it since. i’ve started my own personal ranking of apples to try and find a replacement for the snapdragon apple, since it’s practically impossible to find on the west coast.

  10. Snapdragon can be hard to find, but it is well worth the effort! I discovered them last winter and they quickly became a favorite. I resorted to ordering them online to ensure I can get them this season. It has a great “classic” apple flavor, with consistent crunchy texture.
    Thank you Dr. Brown – this is a great variety!

  11. I’ve had two now, and they were both contender for tartest red apple I’ve ever had. Are we sure about that 0.5 tartness rating? Maybe I just got insanely lucky.

  12. I have recently fallen into an apple craze and stumbled upon the Snapdragon at the store. By god it was delicious, so sweet and juicy with an amazing crunch. It’s been awhile since I looked into apples (I used to be quite interested in learning about the new verities and how they were created). I looked up Snapdragon apple and to my happiness I stumbled upon this wonderful list. But alas, I was dismayed, to see the Snapdragon ranked at the number 4 spot! While yes, this rating is extremely impressive and I am lucky enough to have tasted it, I am saddened that my journey to the top started so high. So instead I will work my way down the list, right down to the dreaded Newtown Pippin Apple (as a Long Island Native, how could I not?) Hopefully then I will have an even greater appreciation for this already incredible apple.

  13. I discovered this apple as a sample at my local grocery store.
    With a few extra apples, I made some applesauce. Wow!!! It was incredibly sweet and buttery with that hint of vanilla. I’m going to try using them in a pie for Thanksgiving.

  14. So, weirdly, if you didn’t get your snapdragon from Aldi in one of the white paper Snapdragon tote bags, you gotta try one. I tried a snapdragon in the plastic bag, and it is so much worse than the snapdragons from Aldi. I dont know if they have a brand deal to produce better apples for Aldi, but the flavour is so much more intense from Aldi. And the apples are very cheap there, like less than 2 dollars per pound.

  15. I had to share, despite being a co-inventor of ‘SnapDragon”, that we had it at my daughters wedding in October. An attendee asked if I knew the apple rankings and I said yes and he exclaimed “This apple is a 97+ if I ever tasted .” He was pleased with my knowledge of the rankings as I was with his enthusiasm. Not sure if people know this is the apple of the NY Buffalo Bills, and it won the innovative produce product in Poland, and was praised by Tampa Bay’s Gronk in a Buffalo podcast. I’m admittedly biased but proud. Go Bills!

      1. Thanks for these rankings/descriptors. Many may not agree with them, but they are amusing and often offer a grain of truth in the descriptors. Of course, not when it comes to my varieties :).

        1. LoveApplesAndCherries

          What kind of growing conditions does the SnapDragon need? I live in eastern Washington State, where we don’t grow as many apples as in central Washington. Our area has hot dry summers (temps over 100 F are not rare) and cold snowy winters (last year we got almost 5 feet of snow, this year we went down to -22 F). My location is zone 5a, 2000′ elevation, we get about 21″ of precipitation per year, most of it as snow, although this “winter” we got way more rain than snow. I have not had an opportunity to eat this variety, but would not be surprised if I liked it.

  16. Yeeeeeah boooooooi! My favorite apple got an 87. It’s the most fun to eat with that immediate snap and I don’t have to worry about damaging my fake teeth.

  17. Odd, I just bought some in New York and they seemed fresh enough, but when I bit in there was no flavor. None at all. Maybe I just got a bad batch, because I followed them up with an Envy apple which I could definitely taste, so I know my tastebuds aren’t broken. I’ll try again in the future but that was a pretty discouraging first impression.

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