Varieties of Apples
Usually apple varieties are classified according to the maturation period of the apple, that can occur in summer, fall or winter: the selection of fall apples, that conveniently stored can last until the following spring, is very popular.
Among the apple varieties cultivated and distributed on the fruit and vegetable market, we will here describe the most popular:
- The “Annurca” apple is an apple variety widely cultivated and produced in the Southern regions of Italy, particularly in Campania; its skin is winy red, the flesh is white and has a sweet-acidic taste and is slightly fragrant; producers of "Annurca" apple usually harvest the fruit between September and October, but it keeps safe until advanced spring. It is suitable both for table consumption or for the industrial processing of the fruit and it is widely exported all over the world.
- Then we have the Breaburn apple, crunchy and flavoured, which is widely cultivated, imported and exported all over the world by wholesalers of apples and by fruit and vegetable farms. The Braeburn apple is hard to the touch, yellow-green, with vertical stripes that can be, depending on the area of cultivation, from light orange to deep red. It was discovered by chance few years ago and it is supposed to be a breed of the Lady Hamilton and the Granny Smith apples. The Braeburn apple is named after the first orchard who commercially produced it on a large-scale, exporting it from New Zealand all over the world. It has a unique combination of sweet and acidic taste: for this reason, it is optimal if eaten fresh; furthermore it is one of the few apple varieties that keeps its beautiful round shape when cooked. The harvesting of the Braeburn apple takes place between October and April, but the variety is well known because it stores well if kept in cool and dry places and is available on all apple markets and wholesaling.
- In Belgium, there has been a production of apples called “Nicotter Kanzi” derived from Braeburn apples. The skin of these apples is pinkish to be red, they have a regular shape and are medium sized; their flesh is crisp, nicely acidic and flavoured. It withstands well handling and for this reason is suitable as a production of apples for industry, as it stores perfectly until May.
The Fuji apple is a two-colour variety that comes from Japan: the skin colour goes from light to deep red, speckled with some yellow and green, the flesh is hard, crisp and juicy and the apple has an intense flavour. The Fuji apple is sweet, slightly acidic and flavoured. Apart from Japan, from where this apple variety comes from, the Fuji apple is produced also in the fruit-growing areas of Valtellina and is distributed and exported all over the world, thanks to its qualities that keep unaltered for long time.
- The Fuji Kiku 8 apples are instead a mutation of the Fuji apple, discovered and produced for the fruit and vegetable market by A. Braun in Japan. The fruit in this case is bigger and has a round shape slightly elongate. It is a cultivation with excellent organoleptic qualities and its fruits look better compared with the other "Fuji", as they are evenly striped and are of a shiny ruby red. The flesh is very crisp, flavoured and has a high sugar content.
- The Golden Delicious apple is the most popular variety in Italy and all over the world: the skin is typically yellow, more or less rusty. It is a flavoured apple, sweet and crisp and its flesh is thick and juicy, sweet and flavoured. This apple is perfect to be consumed fresh, however it is also perfectly suitable cooked, both for desserts, for example as a garnish in cakes, or in the preparation of original savoury plates. The Golden apple sugars are quickly absorbable, it is diuretic, refreshing and detoxifying; it is also rich of polyphenols that are highly bioactive and therefore they can slow down the damaging effects of free radicals and prevent ageing. The best apples of the Golden delicious variety produced for the fruit and vegetable market are rather big fruits, which bear about 150-200 g., their skin is golden yellow, apart from the small part around the stem. There are also Golden delicious apples that have a light green skin, they are smaller and are valued especially abroad: the latter have a white flesh, to be green near the apple core, they are sweet-acidic, and a slightly floury texture when they are completely ripe, while they are more juicy if they are not completely ripe. This kind of apples store for long periods and for this reason are largely produced and distributed by wholesalers of apples and by fruit and vegetable farms, and finally frequently imported and exported.
- A variety of apple that can be compared to the Golden delicious is the “Tentation Delbush”, a beautiful apple with excellent taste qualities. The fruit has a golden-yellow skin and a delicate, juicy flesh; it tastes very good and has a high sugar content, with a pleasant flavour slightly similar to anisette. It is an unpopular apple and it is traded by few, however its success on the international fruit and vegetable market is growing quickly.
- The Granny Smith apple is an apple variety coming from Australia, with an intense green colour, bright and shiny. It is an apple suitable for the distribution and the consumption: it is very juicy, crisp, sweet and acidic, hard and energetic. Not only it is really valued alone, but also in salads for its pleasant sharp taste. The Granny Smith apple ripens in fall and it is cultivated in the major part of the Italian country, despite the fact that it is highly exported abroad. The hybrid apple variety “Nicogreen green star" was created by crossbreeding the cultivations Delbarestivale and Granny Smith: it is a variety that produces apples with a light green skin lightly white speckled with red stripes on the part exposed to the sun. Their shape is beautiful and regular: the flesh is crisp, pleasantly acidic and smooth flavoured. These apples store in the fridge until the end of June keeping their organoleptic qualities thus being perfect for table consumption.
- The Reneitte apple is a very fine apple variety with an outstanding flavour and an excellent keeping: these apples are particularly suitable for mountain environments. If the Reneitte apple is just ripen, its skin will be yellow-green, the flesh will be very soft, juicy and with a low content of sugar. It is suitable for table consumption, both uncooked or cooked, because it turns its flavoured acidity when raw in juicy and hard sweetness when cooked. It is perfect for desserts and usually it is the main ingredient for the strudel, even though nowadays some people prefer to use sweeter apples.
- The Pink Lady apple is particular, with its pink skin and its crisp and juicy flesh. Its taste is sweet, intense and flavoured: in the latest years the Pink Lady had such a great success on the fruit and vegetable market, that it has been distributed, imported and exported all over the European continent.
- Finally, other important apple varieties are the Imperatore apple, with a winter ripening period and big sized, used both for the direct consumption and for the food industry, the Jonagold apple, very juicy and flavoured, the Morgeduft apple, with a bittersweet taste and a very hard flesh and the Pinova apple. New apple cultivations, whose production began a short time ago but already very valued, produced for the import/export of apples in the wholesaling on the fruit and vegetable market are the Stark delicious apple, the Red Chief apple, the Red Delicious apple and the Royal Gala apple.
- Furthermore, there are also countless tests that have the purpose to create new varieties for the distribution and the trade of apples on the fruit and vegetable market. Among the others we can remember the MODÌ CIVG 198 varieties, a development of a CIV (Centre for Variety Innovation) project on the Rubens® apple. This particular apple variety has a truncated-cone fruit, perfectly sized and of a very bright purple red colour on almost all the surface. The flesh is very hard, crisp, juicy and yellow, with a high content of sugar and acids. The organoleptic characteristics of the MODÌ apple are important: the fruit keeps well and the flesh is hard and juicy. The apple reaches a complete ripening a week earlier than the Golden delicious apple, the organoleptic characteristics keep unaltered with the course of time and permit a great distribution of Modì apples and their import/export on all the European fruit and vegetable market.
- There are also other very special apple varieties, such as the Caudle apples, produced and traded on the fruit and vegetable market only by few farms that have joined a specific club, the Honeycrunch apples, with American origins, that derive from a breed cross between the Honey Gold and Macun varieties and are retailed by the University of Minnesota (USA); the apple became more popular when it was imported in France and nowadays it is valued for its light, refreshing and crisp flesh.
Finally there is the Rubens apple, that was created by an Italian experiment: its skin has a very beautiful colour with red-orange stripes on a green-yellow background.