This is a very early ripening apple.
An excellent cooking apple, it has been a North American favourite for baking since it was introduced from Russia in the early 1800s.
It is a little tart, so it is not thought of as a dessert apple or even one to be enjoyed eating out of hand; but some do like them that way. It does have an interesting flavor right off of the tree.
The colour and shape of the Duchess are very appealing with the profoundly round profile and marked striping.
Once a popular variety for home use, lone trees can still be found on old homesteads.
The Dutchess is rarely found anymore in the market place as it does not seem profitable for growers to focus on this variety anymore, as demand for culinary classic has plummeted.