I sometimes come across apples that taste very bitter (not sour like a granny smith, but more like tannin). This is maybe one in 10 or 15 apples. It doesn't seem to be restricted to a certain variety (I've tasted it in pink lady, opal, honeycrisp and some I've forgotten). Sometimes it's just one, and sometimes it's a whole batch. Washing doesn't remove the flavor

Google search suggestions show other people have noticed this too, but I can't find a good answer as to why. It seems too common to me to not have a good answer though; maybe it's something only some people can taste, like cilantro tasting soapy or cyanide smelling like almonds?


2 Answers 2


We have an old variety apple tree, similar to Yellow Transparent, of uncertain origin. When ripe - that is, the flesh has softened to edibility and sweetness has developed - the skins provide a highly tannic note. Removing the skins before using the apples in cooking dramatically reduces the tannins.

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    We have an old tree as well that the previous owner of our home planted as a seedling in 1979, and like yours the flesh is super sweet and quite delicious (my kids eat them like candy). What we have done, as I generally like the skin on my apples was wash them with an abrasive (like you would a potato to get the dirt off) and it helps remove the bitter taste. I don't know why, but maybe try this in conjunction with this answer???
    – J Crosby
    Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 14:22

My guess is that the bitter taste might be from the chemicals sprayed on these fruits...

Sometimes the whole bag of apples almost all taste slightly bitter, sometimes none at all.

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    guest, please note that this is a Q/A site with a specific format unlike the standard web forums you may be familiar with. I recommend you take the tour and browse through the help center, especially How to Answer. Two of your posts were deleted because they didn’t answer the question and this one is borderline at best - we don’t appreciate purely speculative answers (but a well-explained educated guess is fine) and I would prefer if you could edit your post with reliable sources why or how pesticides create the effect. Could they be washed off?
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 18:08

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