Image of Gravenstein Apple

Gravenstein apples are a fairly old variety, introduced from Europe in the mid-1800s. This tangy, sweet-tart apple is fairly versatile, but is best known as the perfect variety for the kind of applesauce your Grandmother used to make.

Scientific Binomial Name: Malus pumila


This tangy, sweet-tart variety is excellent eaten out-of-hand or used in baking. If your Grandmother used to make an incredible applesauce, chances are she used a Gravenstein.


A Good-quality Gravenstein apple will be firm with smooth, an occasionally blemished skin and have good color for the variety – which is mostly green with some red blush.

Test the firmness of the apple by holding it in the palm of your hand. (Do not push with your thumb). It should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light.


Avoid product with soft or dark spots.

If the apple skin wrinkles when you rub your thumb across it, the apple has probably been in cold storage too long or has not been kept cool.


To store, keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator.

Apples do not freeze until the temperature drops to 28.5°F.


Apples won't ripen further after being picked. Some apples will convert their starches into sugar after being picked, but this is known as "curing", and is best achieved by leaving fruit in the refrigerator - never sitting at room temperature.

  • Nutritional Information
  • Apples are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They're also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.

  • Tips & Trivia
  • Rub cut apples with lemon juice to keep slices and wedges creamy white for hours.

    Store apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator away from strong-odored foods such as cabbage or onions to prevent flavor transfer.

    Gravenstein is one of the few volume varieties in America introduced by Europe. Gravenstein was planted as early as 1820 in Bodega, north of San Francisco. Most early California plantings began about 1850.

    The history of apple consumption dates from Stone Age cultivation in areas we now know as Austria and Switzerland. In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage; catching it was acceptance.

    Folk hero Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) did indeed spread the cultivation of apples in the United States. He knew enough about apples, however, so that he did not distribute seeds, because apples do not grow true from seeds. Instead, he established nurseries in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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