After the many attributes of McIntosh were discovered, plant breeders began crossing it with other varieties to enhance its traits. One of the earliest was the Cortland, combined with the Ben Davis variety. Its flavor is sweet compared to McIntosh, and it has a flush of crimson against a pale yellow background sprinkled with short, dark red stripes and gray-green dots.
Cortland has very white flesh and is an excellent dessert apple.
The original Cortland variety, introduced in 1915 by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, produced apples which were 20—30% red, and was not patented. Since then, several sports have been identified and patented: