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Ariane apples are medium in size, and have a bright crimson-orange skin over a gold-green background. The skin often has lenticels and small patches of russet. The flesh is creamy-white, has some juice, and is dense and crisp. In a good fruit, the flavor is excellent, balanced between sweet and acidic with interesting notes of pear and lychee. The Ariane tree is very scab resistant and has good resistance to other common diseases as well such as powdery mildew and fire blight. The trees must be thinned fairly thoroughly to produce fruit.
Ariane apples are available in the fall through spring.
Ariane apples are a modern Malus domestica variety from France, developed around 2000. Ariane apples can trace their heritage through several types of apples, including the Rome Beauty, Prima, Florina, and Golden Delicious. In this case, the extensive breeding program created a variety that is very resistant to scab and therefore needs less pesticide application while growing. The name of this variety refers to the Ariane space rocket series from Europe.
Apples are a filling and nutritious choice for snacks and meals. They are high in fiber—one apple has about 17 percent of the daily recommended intake of fiber in soluble and insoluble forms. Apples are a good source of Vitamin C and also contain other antioxidants such as quercetin and catechin. Though apples are high in several types of sugars, their glycemic index is low.
Ariane is a dessert apple, meant for eating fresh out of hand. Serve chilled for the best flavor and texture. Pair with cheeses, peanut butter, and other fruits like apricots and pears. This variety is a particularly good keeper, and will stay fresh and firm in storage for three months or even longer.
Many apples have been bred throughout history, producing thousands of different varieties. Ariane is a more recent apple bred using modern scientific methods and involving more than 30 generations of apples to create the final product. Older methods of breeding involved simply crossing one variety with another, and if the offspring were successful, they became new apple varieties.
The National Institute of Agronomic Research in Angers developed the Ariane as part of extensive trials to find a scab-resistant apple, starting several decades ago. The first commercial orchards were planted in France in 2002. Today many producers in France and other European countries grow Ariane. They grow well in temperate to warmer climates.