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Apples - Autumn


apples on wood board
Apples are hands down the most popular fruit in the world.
It’s believed that silk traders first brought the apple to ancient Rome from Kazakhstan where the trees were cultivated and prized for their fruit. The Romans took the cultivated fruit with them to England where apple growing then became common like in many other parts of Europe.

In New Zealand, apple trees, along with pear trees, first arrived in New Zealand in 1819 with the missionary Samuel Marsden and were planted at Marsden’s mission settlement in Kerikeri. The country’s oldest fruit tree, near the Stone Store, still bears fruit today.

All apples are harvested February to April each year with the majority being exported. Domestically, they are initially supplied from a cool store then shifted to a controlled atmosphere to extend quality supply throughout the year. Properly stored apples will taste crisp and juicy months after harvest. This means seasonality is taken out of play for the varieties with good storage performance. Towards the end of the year, around November, when New Zealand grown supply has been used up, US apples are imported to cover the shortfall, especially the Granny Smith variety.


EAT

Apples that are high in acid, such as Granny Smith and Braeburn, hold up best during cooking. Acids enhance our perception of other flavours,

and because heat tends to dissipate aromatic molecules, cooked dishes made with high-acid apples retain more flavour. Acids are also necessary to strengthen pectin (the ‘glue’ that holds fruit cells together), which helps apple slices keep their shape.


Apple varieties with less air, like Braeburn, are best for baking whole because they won’t collapse. As their water evaporates, their juices concentrate and their cells contract.

Cooked apples classically go with flavours like cinnamon and mixed spice, illustrated with dishes synonymous with apples like crumble, brown Betty and pie, and matched with butter, cream and vanilla. Apples also pair well with other autumnal fruit like blackberries, feijoas and walnuts. Apples are often used as a natural sweetener, and apple sauce can do this, while also replacing eggs in baking for low sugar, vegan muffins and cakes.


Apple sauce, the traditional accompaniment to roast pork, is an example of the apple’s versatility, bridging both sweet and savoury dishes. Crisp, raw apples play hero in a Waldorf salad while julienned apple in a slaw or paired with raw fennel will add a beautiful sweet, juicy bite.


VARIETIES

Ambrosia™ - AVAILABLE MARCH–OCTOBER

A variety originally developed in Canada, this blush pink/red apple with a pale-yellow background is now grown by Yummy in the Hawke’s Bay. Ambrosia’s™ sweetness doesn’t actually mean it has a higher sugar content; its low fruit acidity means we simply perceive it as sweeter. Lower fruit acidity also makes Ambrosia™ easier to digest.


Ballarat - AVAILABLE EARLY MARCH–JULY

A traditional cooking apple, Ballarats have an intense, tart flavour and light, fluffy texture when cooked – perfect for your favourite apple recipe.


Braeburn - AVAILABLE MARCH–DECEMBER

This favourite Kiwi apple has a tart flavour and dense, crunchy flesh.


Fuji - AVAILABLE APRIL–SEPTEMBER

The thick skin of the Fuji apple is light red with a yellow blush and sometimes lined with red stripes. Sweeter than most apples, Fuji apples have a dense flesh that is sweet and crisp. Low in acid, the flavour is mild yet sweet. Named after Mt. Fuji in Japan, Fuji apples are a cross between Red Delicious and Ralls Janet, first discovered in Fujisaki in the late 1930s.


Granny Smith - IN SEASON LATE MARCH–DECEMBER

A versatile apple, great for both cooking and eating fresh. Look for bright green coloured skin. Granny Smiths have a fresh, tart flavour and are full of juice! The acidity mellows as they ripen (skin becomes more yellow). A relatively long season, Granny Smith apples store well when refrigerated due to their dense flesh.


Envy - AVAILABLE MAY–OCTOBER

Since it was introduced, Envy has emerged as the apple with everything: beautiful skin, sweet flavour and a bright, tender flesh that remains white, even after being cut. Envy was born using natural plant-breeding methods, crossing Braeburn with Royal Gala apples, to take full advantage of New Zealand’s ideal growing conditions. The result is pure bliss.


Mariri Red - AVAILABLE LATE MARCH – OCTOBER

Braeburn’s richer, redder cousin, Mariri Red has a rich, solid red coloured skin and an enhanced tart flavour … similar to its Braeburn cousin, but more intense!


NZ Rose - AVAILABLE MARCH – NOVEMBER

Super sweet, crisp and juicy, NZ Rose has a very thin skin which must be handled with care.


Red Delicious - IN SEASON FROM MID-MARCH–SEPTEMBER

An old favourite, Red Delicious apples have a deep red

skin loaded with antioxidants, and bright white flesh. Red Delicious have a very mellow flavour, with just a hint of sweetness – very refreshing!


Royal Gala - IN SEASON FROM EARLY FEBRUARY

A Kiwi favourite, Royal Gala is a high-colour version of the original Gala strain. Look for bright red stripes on a white background. These early season apples are sweet and crisp with a light, juicy flesh!


Jazz - IN SEASON FROM APRIL

A cross between the two popular varieties, Gala and Braeburn, this bright red apple is crisp and juicy.


Pink Lady - IN SEASON FROM APRIL

Crossed between a Golden Delicious with a Lady Williams, the Pink Lady is medium-sized and manages to be both tart and sweet at once.


Pacific Rose - IN SEASON FROM APRIL

Rosy pink in colour with yellowish flesh, the Pacific Rose

is typically sweet, very juicy and extremely crisp. It was developed in New Zealand in a HortResearch breeding programme which crossed Gala with the New Zealand heritage variety Splendour.



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