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What Is an Arkansas Black Apple?

What Is an Arkansas Black Apple?

An Arkansas Black Apple sounds very mysterious indeed. You’re likely to have some questions. “Is it really black?” Or “Is it actually an apple?”

We’ve all been tricked by names before.

We’ll help you out with those core issues and with understanding the appeal of the Arkansas Black Apple.

Let’s go!

What is an Black Apple?

An Arkansas Black Apple is a variety of fruit first cultivated around Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1870. A Mr. Braithwaite grew the apples, which are a variety of Winesap. The skin is dark–red to black. Inside, the fruit is yellow, finely-grained, and juicy.

The other well-known variety of black apples is the Black Diamond. Those apples are grown in Tibet and nurtured by UV light at night. They’re pretty expensive and tough to come by, as you might imagine.

Pro Tip: Use your Arkansas Black Apples to make some Campfire Apple Crisp Foil Packs! Plus, try out these 5 Best Campfire Dessert Recipes

What Do They Taste Like?

Just wait! 

No, really. Just wait. The best way to taste them is to put them in the fridge for a few months first because the Arkansas Black Apple ages beautifully. The final result will have notes of cherry, cinnamon, coriander, and vanilla. 

If you’re impatient, though, they’re pretty gross. Straight from the tree, the apples are rock-hard and sour. 

apple coated in black.
An Arkansas Black Apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Where Can You Buy Arkansas Black Apples?

You can search Google for places to buy them and have them shipped to you. Many orchards sell them online.

However, why not turn this into a road trip?

The Arkansas Apple Festival is an excellent stop if you want to get some Black Apples in their natural environment. It’s held every October in Lincoln, Arkansas. In addition to the apples, the fair has all kinds of produce and crafts from around the Ozarks.

It would also be a chance to sample some other regional foods. Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is known for its barbeque, and biscuits with chocolate gravy are sold all over the region. You can also expect to find some good fish fries and crawfish boils. 

You can also use this time to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. There are some scenic hikes (including the Lake Loop Trail right in Lincoln) that’ll let you see a bit of nature. 

Woman in black cloak holding apple.
Arkansas Black Apples are best when aged for a long time.

Pro Tip: Need a place to stay while exploring Arkansas? Check out these 7 Best Free Camping Spots in Arkansas.

Are These Apples Good for Cooking?

Yes, but only after they’re finished aging. There are a lot of recipes for baking them in pies, but cobblers and other desserts are favorites as well. 

Can I Grow an Arkansas Black Apple Tree?

Yes. You can order the trees online or from a local nursery. 

One remarkable thing about these trees is that they grow fast. They grow so fast, in fact, that they could bear fruit after just a year.

For pollination, you’ll need two different apple trees – or one self-fertile tree-like Gala – near the Black Apple tree.

They grow to 12-15 feet, do well in full sun, and are ready to harvest in October. Despite their name, Arkansas Black Apple trees will grow in any state warm and sunny enough. 

Dreaming of Black Apples?

Unlike most apples, the Arkansas Black is most delicious a few refrigerated months after picking, receiving in the mail, or buying at an Ozark festival. That should give you plenty of time to look up recipes and dream of warm black apple pie. 

Have you ever had an Arkansas Black Apple? Tell us about it in the comments.

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