The Black Oxford originated in Paris, Maine, in the 1790s. Paris is located in Oxford County (hence the name!). The Black Oxford is known for it’s dark purple skin, although there may be some yellow or green coloring on the skin as well. The Black Oxford is a small to medium sized apple, and has a white flesh, with some red flesh close to the skin.
The Black Oxford is a sweet-tart eating apple, with a unique flavor, and is also a good cooking apple. This apple is a fantastic storing apple, as it will stay firm and crisp throughout the winter, and sometimes into the spring if kept cool.
According to George Stilphen’s book The Apples of Maine, the original Black Oxford tree found in the 1790s was still standing in 1907, over 100 years later!
As with many old heirloom varieties, Black Oxford is a versatile apple – good for winter eating, useful for cooking, and the juice has a good flavor.