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Rockit™ apples are a small-sized varietal, averaging 3 to 5 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to conical appearance with sloped shoulders tapering to a narrow, flat base. The apple's skin is thin, smooth, and taut, showcasing pale lenticels and some textured russet in the stem cavity. The skin also has a vibrant, golden-yellow base and is covered in large patches of dark red-orange blush and striping. The amount of blush will vary per apple, depending on the amount of sun exposure during cultivation, and some of the blush will be solid, while other portions are more translucent. One of the unique features of the apple is its small size. This petite nature allows each bite to contain a mix of flesh and skin, developing the most flavor. Underneath the surface, the yellow flesh is crisp, firm, and aqueous with a crunchy consistency. The flesh also encases a small central core filled with tiny black-brown seeds. Rockit™ apples have high sugar content, reaching up to 20 Brix, contributing to the fruit's fresh, sweet flavor.
Rockit™ apples are grown in both hemispheres and are harvested in the fall, providing year-round availability in some markets.
Rockit™ apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a modern New Zealand variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The apples were developed in the late 20th century from natural cross-breeding techniques and are the first snack-sized apples. Rockit™ apples are naturally small, and the fruits are left on the tree until they have developed full flavor, harvested ripe and ready for immediate consumption. It takes Rockit™ apple trees approximately two years to bear fruit and about seven years to reach maturity, but once the trees are fruiting, they produce large crops. Since their release to commercial markets in the early 21st century, Rockit™ apples have been grown and distributed worldwide. Rockit™ apples are prewashed and prepackaged in recycled plastic containers as an on-the-go snack and are consumed as a dessert cultivar. The premium apples are favored for their sweet, crisp nature and are an easy-to-finish fruit, advertised as being eaten in four bites.
Rockit™ apples are a source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, and vitamin E to reduce inflammation. The apples also provide potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, and other nutrients, including vitamin K, copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. The apple's dark red blush contains antioxidants to protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Rockit™ apples have a mild, sweet taste suited for fresh preparations. The apple's small size and portable nature were designed for the fruits to be consumed out of hand as an on-the-go snack. Rockit™ apples can also be dipped whole into chocolate or caramel as a sweet treat, served on charcuterie boards as a crunchy addition, or sliced and tossed into salads. The apple's sweet flesh can be shaved over breakfast dishes as a fresh topping, shredded into slaws, layered onto sandwiches, or cut and added to grain bowls and fruit medleys. In addition to fresh preparations, Rockit™ apples can be pureed and dried into fruit leather, baked into chips, or added to stuffings and vegetable side dishes. The apples can also be utilized in baked goods such as muffins, dumplings, and fritters. In China, Rockit™ apples were marketed as a fresh eating holiday snack and celebratory gift during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The apples were kept in their signature tubes and were placed in luxury gift boxes decorated with a crystal palace on the moon, an illustration from a Chinese legend associated with the festival. Rockit™ apples pair well with cheeses such as brie, goat, feta, blue, and parmesan, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and spices including cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Whole Rockit™ apples will keep for several weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. The apples should be kept in their recyclable container as they will stay fresher for longer. Some countries are also introducing biodegradable cardboard packaging for the variety.
Rockit™ apples were specifically marketed as a snack food. Around the time of the apple's release, conventional apples being produced worldwide were growing larger, and the market was becoming saturated, creating intense competition. The Rockit™ marketing team and company leaders decided to avoid the increasing competition in the conventional apple market and position the small apples as a type of on-the-go item. The team noticed that people were searching for healthy, convenient snacks, and the apples were purposely placed in recyclable containers to support this branding, encouraging the fruits to be carried in bags, cars, and suitcases. The apples were also positioned as a convenience food sold in unconventional sites, including amusement parks, hospitals, cafes, schools, and on cruise lines. Locally in New Zealand, the Rockit™ apple company has been supporting the community of Heretaunga by providing local jobs and sponsorship programs within the suburb. The company site was once given the name Te Ipu, meaning "the food bowl" or "the cup" by the Ngati Kahungunu, a local Maori community.
Rockit™ apples were created by Plant and Food Research in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The apple variety was developed from a cross between Gala and Splendor apples in 1989 and was a part of a twenty-year breeding program to develop apples with improved characteristics. Rockit™ apples were not immediately accepted after their creation, as many growers deemed the apples too small for commercial production. Phil Alison, a businessman, grower, and apple enthusiast, became familiar with the variety in the 1990s, valuing its size, appearance, and flavor, and began planting the trees. Prevar eventually took over the Plant and Food Research program and began licensing the variety. During this time, the other apple growers dropped out from the Rockit™ program, believing the apples were too small to become a successful cultivar. This allowed Alison to purchase the licensing agreements from Prevar to cultivate Rockit™ apples under the Havelock North Fruit Company in 2002. Rockit™ apples were eventually released to markets around 2010, and fruits were sold domestically and shipped to Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Today Rockit™ apples are managed by Rockit™ Global Limited, and only one company per country is licensed to grow the variety. Rockit™ apples are grown worldwide, and in the United States, they are exclusively produced by Chelan Fresh in Washington state.
Recipes that include Rockit™ Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Woolworths||Rockit Apple, Pear And Fennel Salad|
|Healthy Grocery Girl||Mini Apple Pies|