Perhaps the biggest recent development in the apple industry is the breeding of new apple varieties with unusual inside colouring. The pink or reddish inside colours are so different from what we are used to – apples with a creamy colour.
In the stone fruit industry we see new varieties as a result from different categories of stone fruit being used as breeding parents – apricots and nectarines and plums! We see a new category being called Pluots, with delightful new flavours.
[divider]Exciting new table grape varieties using different breeding parents will bring forward new excellent red, black and white seedless varieties which is completely change the products we find on the shelves. The berries are naturally well coloured, big in size and crispy. And they have delightful names which tells us this is something new – Melody, Sweet Celebration, Tawny, Firestar and Joybells, to name but a few. Many of these grape new cultivars will be available in greater quantities this season which start now.
All over the Northern regions of South Africa, along the Orange River and for that matter in South Namibia, in a place called Aussenkehr, grape growers are now moving into their vineyards to gather the harvest. Over the next two months or so the growers in these regions will be harvesting more than 30 million cartons of fruit. That is before the mid-season and later regions are added.
For some reason, though, Fredo is intrigued by the new development in apples. When these things happen people often say that the breeders are messing with nature. Nothing can be further from the truth – these are genuinely natural processes and we should get ready to meet these new varieties, taste them and enjoy them. That is when we one day find them on the shelves of our supermarkets.
In the battle of the new range of pink and red internally coloured apples it could well be that a true ‘English Rose’ named Sunburst will battle the French contestant called Kissabel.
British retailer Waitrose launched a delightful internally pink coloured apple named Sunburst named ‘pumkin apples’ as part of their Halloween campaign. Although named Sunburst, Fredo would argue that the apple launched in Waitrose could perhaps be called the real ‘English Rose’, because it was bred in Kent in England. And Fredo believes that any ‘English Rose’ will be horrified to be called a ‘pumpkin apple’ – especially something so new, exciting and new!
[divider]As is the case around the fruit world, there is enormous competition amongst plant breeders. Across the English Channel the French have developed their own brand of new pink and red internally coloured apples. Under an international consortium under the umbrella of an association called Ifored, they plan to plant these apples in countries around the world. In South Africa, the Dutoit Group from Ceres is such a partner. We can only hope that we will also see some of these varieties here soon.
The Sunburst will also be planted in South Africa soon and Fredo look forward to tasting the ‘English Rose’. “Grown in Kent, the tangy apple has a flavour akin to a nostalgic fruit-salad chewy sweet.”
The French are naming their new range of different internally coloured apples the Kissabels. There are three of them which have already been named. The Kissabel’s are called Kissabel Rouge, Kissabel Jaune and Kissabel Orange.
In this new category of apples the true English Rose called Sunburst may well confront the Kissabels in battles reminiscent of the great Anglo-French battles of the past.