Idared is a fairly recent cross between two classic American heirloom varieties, Jonathan and Wagener. It was bred at the Idaho Experiment Station in 1942. It’s hardy enough to be grown in small quantities in many commercial Maine orchards. The medium-large, round, slightly-ribbed fruit is almost entirely blushed with a cheerful ‘1940′s red.’ The ground color is reminescent of Jonathan and Prima. Sometimes there’s a russet patch around the stem.
Idared is good for fresh eating, as well as for pies and sauce. The firm, fine-grained, juicy, pure white flesh is mildly yet decidedly tart, with enough flavor to distinguish it from the more tasteless sweet inventions of recent times. It will keep in the root cellar until late spring. One year we pulled one out on May 20th, and it was still firm, tasty and spritely. We were impressed.