April 10, 2020

Big, Bad Wolf

Two Wolf River apples dwarf a MacIntosh apple.

Janine Pineo Photo | Two Wolf River apples dwarf a McIntosh apple.

If apples told tales, then it would be quite the whopper in describing the Wolf River variety. This heirloom dates back to 1875, originating near the Wolf River in Wisconsin, according to the Fedco Trees 2014 catalog, which says it may be the most famous old apple in Maine. Renowned for its huge fruit, it easily dwarfs most common varieties. It is recommended as a cooking apple, used in baked goods and pies or as a baked apple. Some say it isn’t very good for fresh eating, although Fedco states that it has excellent flavor dried. It is not a keeper, staying fresh only a few weeks once harvested. Apple trees can be a little picky in their locale, with Wolf River only suitable for Zones 3-5. So picky translates into all of Maine but that tiny coastal pocket of Zone 6.