The Ben Davis was grown commercially in the 1800s due to its good keeping and transporting qualities. It is a hard apple without an abundance of juice, known as a “mortgage lifter” apple because it reliabley produced large crops. Generally it is not considered super-delicious as it lacks a strong sweet apple flavor. It makes a good baking apple with the addition of sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and other herbs.
Click here for an historical accounting about the Ben Davis apple.