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This item was last sold on : 11/13/20
Sweetie™ apples are medium to large fruits, averaging 7 to 12 centimeters in diameter, and have an elongated, conical to oval shape. The fruits are generally lopsided with a narrow base, tapering to broad shoulders. The skin is semi-smooth, taut, chewy, and thick with a yellow-green hue, covered in spots of bright red blush and prominent yellow lenticels. Underneath the surface, the flesh is firm, crisp, aqueous, pale yellow, and semi-coarse, encasing a small central core filled with brown-black seeds. Sweetie™ apples have low acidity, developing a very sweet, subtly spiced taste, and the flavor profile is very mild, as the sweet notes fade quickly and do not linger on the palate.
Sweetie™ apples are available in the early fall through winter.
Sweetie™ apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a hybrid variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The sweet, crisp fruits were developed in New Zealand in the early 21st century and are a cross between the royal gala and braeburn apples. Sweetie™ apples were created as an improved variety of the gala apple, which is one of the most popular varieties found in New Zealand and Australia. The apples were also introduced into the United States through Washington growers and are favored for their dense, crisp flesh and mild, sweet flavor. Sweetie™ apples are only available through licensed growers, selected for their early to mid-season ripening, and are heavily marketed as being the gala apple’s “sweeter, crunchier cousin.” The fruits are primarily consumed fresh, but they can also be incorporated into some baked applications.
Sweetie™ apples are an excellent source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract and are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system, boosts collagen production within the skin, and reduces inflammation. The apples also contain lower amounts of potassium to balance fluid levels and provide calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A.
Sweetie™ apples are best suited for fresh applications as their crisp flesh and sweet flavor are showcased when consumed straight, out-of-hand. The fruits can be quartered and served on fruit platters, sliced and drizzled in caramel, chocolate, or dipping sauces, or chopped and tossed into fruit and green salads. Sweetie™ apples can also be pressed into juices, blended into applesauce, poached with aromatics, or used as a topping and filling in crepes, waffles, and oatmeal. The firm flesh holds well in cooked applications, allowing the fruits to retain their shape when baked or roasted. Sweetie™ apples can also be utilized in some sweeter applications, including cakes, pies, tarts, muffins, and bread. For some recipes, the sweet flavor of the fruits may need to be paired with more tart apple varieties to create a balanced flavor profile. Sweetie™ apples pair well with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, nuts such as pecans, walnuts, and almonds, toasted coconut, and cheeses such as gouda, cheddar, and goat. Whole, unwashed Sweetie™ apples will keep 6 to 8 weeks when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Washington state is the largest producer of apples in the United States, accounting for approximately 58% of the apples cultivated for consumer markets. Apples are also the top agricultural crop in Washington as the arid climate, fertile soil, and freshwater supply contribute to healthy, robust orchards. Many of the farms are generationally run, and the apples are hand-picked to ensure the fruits remain bruise and blemish-free. Over half of Washington’s apples are marketed for fresh consumption, but cider making has also become a favored use for the locally grown fruits. Each fall, there is a week-long event known as the Washington Cider Week, which celebrates apple cultivation and cidermaking throughout the state. During the event, visitors can walk through orchards, meet with farmers and cidermakers, participate in cider-making classes, and attend curated dinners with cider pairings.
Sweetie™ apples were developed in 2005 at the Plant & Food Research Institute in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The variety was initially marketed through Prevar Limited, a company established to introduce New Zealand apple varieties to international markets, and Sweetie™ apples were the first released variety through the joint venture. In 2005, Sweetie™ apples were introduced into Washington state, where they were virus tested, trialed, and researched for over seven years. The sweet fruits were released to American commercial markets in 2012 through collaborative growers and marketers FirstFruits, and the variety was patented in 2009. Today Sweetie™ apples are available through select growers throughout the United States and are also cultivated in regions of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
Recipes that include Sweetie Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
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