The white flesh inside is dry, coarsely-textured and mealy.
It is very popular in the American south, though detractors say the apple is dry and tasteless. Some call it “cotton with red skin wrapped around it.”
The tree is a heavy producer.
Ben Davis Apples stand up well to shipping, and make good applesauce.
Ben Davis Apples originated in the southern US, possibly Kentucky, Tennessee, or Virginia before the American Civil War. Some though give it a Maine origin before that — on the farm of a Benjamin Davis of Minot, Maine, around 1840.
The apple used to be prized simply because it shipped without bruising, and stored for a long time.
Literature & Lore
“In his revised edition (1860), Downing quotes a Kentucky fruit grower as saying that Ben Davis ‘is one of the finest apples he ever met with,’ and Downing describes it as ‘tender, juicy, with a mild sub-acid very pleasant flavor.’ Yet Ben Davis’ quality is more often than not widely disparaged. My belief is that the difference in view depends upon where it is grown. In the warmer apple-growing states, such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, etc., it succeeds while it fails in New England and other colder climates.” — Robert A. Nitschke in Melrose, R.B. Fruit Varieties Mostly at ‘Melrose Folly’. 1998-05-05. Page 39.