A medium-large, round apple with a slightly tart taste, Rome Beauty, or simply Rome, is famed for its deep-red color and excellent storage qualities. Rome’s flesh is crisp, firm and a greenish-white, and it has a thick skin. It is a good apple eaten fresh but is particularly good for baking and in cider. Greg Patent and Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, in fact, call Rome “perfect” for baked apple recipes in their 1999 book A is for Apples.
Discovered: 1816, Ohio
Harvest: Late Season
Nearly two centuries ago on the banks of the Ohio River, a chance seedling produced the Rome Beauty. A tree planted in Rome, Ohio, in the 1820s, sent up a shoot from below the graft — the part of the tree that is not supposed to bear fruit. Orchardists generally lop these unwanted shoots off, but this branch survived to bear beautiful red fruit. The result was a great-tasting Rome Beauty apple that flourishes to this day.