This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
The case of the dessert apples is quite different from that of the culinary varieties just considered. Most culinary apples in highest favour with the public are green in colour. For some reason or other a red culinary apple does not sell so readily as a green one does. The chief desiderata for a cooking apple are large size, good cooking, and firm enough substance to stand travelling without showing too many bruises. A clear skin, of course, is a desirable condition in any fruit; but manifestly surface blotches in apples, the largest proportion of which is going to be peeled in the cook's laboratory before coming to table, do not so clearly and certainly condemn them as the slightest blemish does the dessert apple, which has to present itself as a thing of beauty, and add its charms of form and colour to the table decorations before becoming a willing victim to the silver knife. It follows, therefore, that with dessert apples different conditions apply. Large size is not a desideratum here. No one desires at dessert to have a huge apple put upon his plate. Form, colour, maturity, flavour, and medium size are the things desired in a dessert apple.
It is therefore easier to find land that will produce tolerable culinary apples than it is to find that in which it is worth while to plant dessert varieties.
Strong land with clayey or loamy subsoil will grow dessert apples too big and without sufficient colour. Of the varieties described below, the first six are those which can best lay claim to the designation of "market varieties"; the others are too close in the running to be left without notice. They are not put in order of merit, but in the order in which they mature for gathering.
This Apple is included by Mr. Bunyard in his list of 100 best Apples. On the Crab stock it forms a spreading tree with vigorous growth. The fruit is of medium size; the colour, when ripe, splashes of dark red laid over streaks of a lighter colour; the flesh is soft and juicy, and the flavour brisk and spicy. It does well on the Paradise. On light warm soil it is a good bearer and colours well. On strong land it is a shy bearer, and does not colour quickly enough to escape birds and wasps, which are marvellously fond of it. Its season is the last week of July or the first of August.
This is the Apple which market people will persist in calling " Quarantine ". It also is included in Mr. Bunyard's list. Almost everyone knows this apple, with its dark claret colour, solid flesh, and pleasantly acid flavour. The tree will grow in most soils, and the apple will colour well, but he who would grow it with satisfaction to himself should choose for it a sheltered situation and a light warm soil. It makes a big tree, bears to a great age, and does not repay working on the Paradise. The season for the marketman to gather it is the first or second week in August.
This is another variety bearing Mr. Bunyard's badge of respectability, indeed he calls it " the finest autumnal apple for dessert". It should be grown on the Paradise, on which stock it is a fairly good bearer. The fruit is very handsome, yellow ground with red streaks; the flesh is soft and tender; and the flavour, to quote Mr. Bunyard, "unusually vinous and aromatic ". This is an apple that will test whether or no the gatherer knew his work. The way not to gather an apple is to nip it with the thumb and first two fingers, because thereby on apples of a soft flesh the thumb and fingers make prints plain enough for criminal identification. The way to gather an apple is to grasp it gently in the palm of the hand and give it a slight twist, when it will leave the bough easily, carry its stalk with it, and bear no grudge against the picker. The season for this apple is the third or fourth week of August.