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Dazzle apples are a medium to large varietal, averaging 6 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a conical shape, sometimes displaying a slightly lopsided shoulder or bottom. The apple's skin is smooth, glossy, and semi-thin, showcasing a golden yellow-orange base, covered in a bright to dark red, crimson blush with prominent yellow lenticels. The skin also provides a chewy consistency, a lightly waxy feel, and a faintly bitter flavor. The apple's stem is dark brown with a long, slender, fibrous nature, and there is some russeting in the stem's cavity. Underneath the surface, the white to cream-colored flesh is fine-grained, aqueous, and dense with a crisp texture. The flesh also encases a central cavity filled with tiny, black-brown seeds. Dazzle apples have a high sugar content with low acidity, developing a mild, sweet, and neutral flavor.
Dazzle™ apples are available in the summer, typically from March to August.
Dazzle apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a modern New Zealand apple variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The mid-season cultivar was released in the early 21st century and was bred from other New Zealand apple varieties to create an improved apple with extended storage properties. Dazzle apples, also known as PremA129, are a multi-purpose apple marketed and sold under the brand name Dazzle. Since their release, Dazzle apples have become a successful variety exported and sold throughout Asia, where the apples contain qualities that are in demand in Asian consumer markets. Dazzle apples are mostly eaten fresh as an on-the-go refreshing snack, but they also offer versatility in home kitchens, able to be cooked in sweet and savory preparations.
Dazzle™ apples are a source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while boosting collagen production in the skin, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and antioxidants to protect the cells against the damage caused by free radicals. The apples also provide copper to produce red blood cells, vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, vitamin E to reduce inflammation, and contains other nutrients, including polyphenols, B vitamins, and manganese.
Dazzle apples have a sweet flavor with a prominent crunch suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The apples are typically consumed straight out of hand, or they can be sliced and served as an accompaniment to cheeses, dried fruits, and nuts on charcuterie boards. Dazzle apples can also be chopped into green salads, shredded into slaws, thinly sliced and placed on top of nut butter toast, stuffed into sandwiches, or served with dips as a snack. The apple's mild, sweet taste can be used in any recipe calling for delicately flavored apple varieties. The variety can also be blended into smoothies, pressed into juice, and combined with other apples to make a flavorful cider. In addition to fresh preparations, Dazzle apples can be cooked into purees and sauces, roasted and served with meat dishes, or hollowed and stuffed with nuts and spices as a dessert. The apples can also be baked into traditional apple desserts and pastries, including crisps, cobblers, pies, turnovers, and dumplings, or they can be sauteed in brown butter and spices spooned over ice cream. Dazzle apples pair well with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, herbs including basil, mint, cilantro, and rosemary, vanilla, maple syrup, brown sugar, and meats such as pork, poultry, turkey, and beef. Whole, unwashed Dazzle apples will keep for one week at room temperature and several weeks when stored in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.
Dazzle apples have been heavily branded to encourage the apple's integration into consumer markets worldwide. The variety's main brand story is around its whimsical name, Dazzle, which is partnered with the slogan "Magic in Every Bite." In Asia, Dazzle apples were also packaged in decorative boxes with a distinct star shape cut out of the box when they were first released, a symbol that has been placed onto point-of-sale signs, product stickers, and other marketing to create a recognizable logo. Dazzle apples were specifically designed with Asian fresh markets in mind, as New Zealand apples have historically been well received. Asian markets view New Zealand apples as varieties that have been grown in a natural, healthy way in a clean environment. Several marketing videos have also further exemplified this idea by positioning the apple as a healthy snack for outdoor enthusiasts. The apple is seen being carried by surfers, dancers, and mountain bikers and is promoted as an apple to "fuel the journey."
Dazzle apples were created in Havelock North, New Zealand, and were developed by the Plant and Food Research Station. The variety was bred from a cross of Scired and Sweetie apples in 1997, both new Zealand apple varieties, and it took breeders over twenty years of trials and testing before the cultivar was ready for commercial release. Dazzle apples are managed by Prevar, a company that helps commercialize new varieties released from Plant and Food Research. Prevar eventually granted the master licensing rights to Fruitcraft, a collaboration between Bostock New Zealand, Freshmax, and Mr. Apple, three of New Zealand's largest growers in the early 21st century. Today Dazzle apples are grown and sold domestically throughout New Zealand and are exported to Asia, where the variety has become a popular cultivar in China after significant brand promotions were launched in 2020 and 2021. Dazzle apples have also been licensed to Chelan Fruit and Gebbers Farms in Washington State, the first companies to grow the variety in the United States. The Dazzle apples featured in the photograph above were sourced from Cold Storage in the Takashimaya Center in Singapore.