Ben Davis is a handsome red apple with green and deep red striping and coarse, pale yellow-to-white flesh. It is a large, moderately juicy and crisp fresh-eating or baking apple, its flavor rather mellow. Ben Davis is harvested in mid-October and not only holds up very well in storage, but its flavor improves as well.
Discovered: Early 1800s Kentucky, Tennessee, or Virginia
Harvest: Late Season
Ben Davis may have first been grown in Kentucky late in the 1700s by one Captain Ben Davis, his brother, William Davis, and John Hills. This heirloom is a parent of the popular Cortland. Once a most popular southern apple, this heirloom was nicknamed “Mortgage Lifter” it was so profitable an export because it traveled well with little refrigeration.