Prairie Spy is one of the earliest apple varieties developed by the University of Minnesota. It was selected in 1923 from seeds planted in 1914, and introduced commercially in 1940. It was known as Minnesota 1007 during its development period.
The parentage of Prairie Spy is not certain, but the name, and its growth characteristics and fruit appearance suggest it is probably a seedling of Northern Spy - but this is not certain.
Although grown commercially for a period in Minnesota, Prairie Spy (like Northern Spy) is not best-suited to the needs of commercial growers. For example, it can take several years to start bearing, and fruit size can be highly variable.
Most tasting tests rate Prairie Spy as having an excellent well-balanced sweet flavor.