Apple Flavor

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Apple varieties can have very distinctive flavors, and these evolve even after the fruit are picked from the tree. The English were great connoisseurs a century ago, and Edward Bunyard wrote that by storing apples properly in a cool place and tasting them periodically, the apple lover could “catch the volatile ethers at their maximum development, and the acids and sugars at their most grateful balance.” Apples do become more mellow with time because they consume some of their malic acid for energy. Much of their aroma comes from the skin, where volatile-creating enzymes are concentrated. The distinctive aroma of cooked apple pulp comes largely from a floral-smelling fragment of the carotenoid pigments (damascenone).