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Diva apples are a medium to large varietal, averaging 7 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to ovate, slightly flattened appearance with some ribbing. The apple’s skin is glossy and smooth with many small pale-yellow to white lenticels. The skin also has a yellow-green base, almost entirely covered in a bright red, solid blush. Underneath the surface, the yellow to ivory flesh is firm, coarse, and aqueous with a dense and crisp consistency. Diva apples have a predominately sweet flavor followed by a subtle astringency with faint nuances of vanilla and grape.
Diva apples are harvested in the fall through winter in New Zealand.
Diva apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a modern sweet apple variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The apples are cultivated in New Zealand, famously grown in Hawkes Bay, and are released in limited quantities by the three largest apple producers in the country. Diva apples are a premium cultivar grown both conventionally and organically. The sweet, subtly tart fruits were selected for their bright coloring and glossy surface and are popularly sold as fresh-eating apples throughout New Zealand. Diva apples are also hardy, allowing the variety to be exported worldwide.
Diva apples are a source of potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. The apples also provide calcium and phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth, vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream, and other amounts of vitamins E and K, zinc, boron, magnesium, and copper.
Diva apples have a sweet and tangy flavor well suited for fresh preparations. The crisp apples are mainly eaten straight, out of hand, and the apples add additional texture and flavor to salads, fruit bowls, grain bowls, and breakfast dishes. Diva apples can be sliced and displayed on cheese platters, layered into parfaits, stuffed into sandwiches, or served on top of toast with nut butter as a snack. While less common, Diva apples are sometimes incorporated into desserts and baked goods, including crisps, muffins, scones, tarts, turnovers, and cakes. The apples are also pressed into ciders and juices or blended into smoothies. Diva apples pair well with cheeses such as cheddar, blue, and goat, nuts including walnuts, pecans, and pistachios, herbs such as parsley, rosemary, and mint, and dried fruits including cherries, raisins, figs, and cranberries. Whole, unwashed Diva apples are resistant to bruising and can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dry place such as the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Diva apples were named after the Italian word meaning “female deity” or “goddess.” The apples were given this name as a sensory description to suggest that eating the variety could offer a “divine” experience. Fruitcraft™, the company behind the modern apple, uses clean, sweet, crisp, and fresh descriptors to describe the apple while also highlighting a slogan encouraging consumers to “have a Diva moment.” This slogan is often displayed on the apple’s marketing and describes a “Diva moment” as a minute of personal “me time.” The saying is also meant to represent healthy lifestyle choices to make the snacking experience memorable and pleasant. In addition to the slogan and history behind the word Diva, the name Diva is on trend with apples being branded with short, four-letter names. These short names can be fit onto barcode stickers on the fruits in bold lettering and are easy to remember, helping to distinguish the variety from others on the market. Several other companies have done this with cultivars, including Jazz, Envy, and Kiku.
Diva apples are cultivated and licensed through Fruitcraft™, a company formed from a partnership between the three largest apple producers in New Zealand. Fruitcraft™ was established in 2012 and is comprised of Bostock New Zealand, Mr. Apple, and Freshmax™. The three companies base most of their Diva apple production in Hawkes Bay along the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Hawkes Bay is known for having a dry, temperate climate, and many of the orchards are near the ocean growing in fertile soil with ample sunshine. Diva apples are sold domestically, but the sweet, red apple was also created to export the variety to Asia. Fruitcraft™ currently produces over 40% of the apples exported from New Zealand, and the apples have been exported to India, China, Taiwan, and several other Southeast Asian countries. The variety is also exported to the Middle East and the United States. In 2015, the Giumarra Wenatchee company in Washington state was approved to sell Diva apples to North American markets. When in season, Diva apples are sold through select farm stands, grocers, and distributors throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the United States.
Recipes that include Diva Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Creative Bite||Bacon Bleu Cheese & Apple Flatbread|
|Aberdeens Kitchen||Skillet Blue Cheese Pork Chops with Apples and Pears|