You’re not going to find Newt Grindle in any apple books. This Maine-grown apple with the unforgettable name originated in East Blue Hill sometime in the middle of the 20th century. It was discovered by Newt, who was the caretaker on the farm where the tree happened to put down its roots. He cared for the tree as it grew with the intention of using the apples to feed his hogs. One day on the way to the pigpen he tried a bite only to discover he had a pretty tasty apple on his hands. He suddenly wasn’t so keen on sharing them all with the pigs. Luckily for us he must have shared some of the scionwood around the Blue Hill Peninsula. Local orchardist, Phil Norris of Claypit Farm, sent us the scionwood so we could graft our own tree.
This big lumpy red-streaked apple is good for sauce and pies. The flesh is firm to crisp without being dense. It is mildly tart with delightful floral notes. You can eat it fresh but you might want to share it with a friend or your favorite pig since a large one is more than most people can manage in one sitting.