The Daily Telegraph recently published an interesting gallery of photos of popular British apples. Among the crop were several New Zealand-bred varieties:
- Jazz, a cross between Gala and Braeburn; Gala (bred 1934), went to England in the 1980s and is now the most common eating apple grown commercially in the UK
- Braeburn bred in the 1950s, but not grown in England until 40 years later
- Envy (which I’d not heard of), another Gala-Braeburn cross made in 1985.
Braeburns have their own website and there you’ll find the history of this deliciously tart and juicy apple. The tree was found by a farmer in Waiwhero in 1952 in the apple-growing area around Nelson. It was a seedling cross-pollinating from Granny Smith and Lady Hamilton trees. It was subsequently cultivated at the Braeburn Orchard and thus named.
According to the 100% Pure Apples from New Zealand website:
Braeburn: New Zealand’s second-largest variety by volume and one of the world’s premium apple varieties. Harvested late March and April. Sports of Braeburn include Aurora, Eve and Mahana Red.
Pacific Beauty: A natural cross between Gala and Splendour, harvested mid- to late February. Pacific Queen is a cross of Royal Gala and Splendour (mid-March to late April), and Pacific Rose (April).
Royal Gala: New Zealand’s largest variety by volume, was developed in New Zealand and is harvested from late February to late March. Higher colour strains include Galaxy and Brookfield. A red sport of Gala.
Sonya: Developed in New Zealand as a cross between Gala and Red Delicious. Harvested late March, early April.
The Enza Foods website says Royal Gala and Braeburn are grown in the greatest numbers in New Zealand, followed by Fuji (Japan), Jazz (New Zealand’s fastest-growing export, sold in 20 countries), Pacific Rose, Granny Smith (Australia) and Cox’s Orange Pippin (England).
I’m partial to a Pink Lady (sounds like a cocktail, doesn’t it?), an apple that originated in western Australia and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams.
Other popular New Zealand-bred apples are:
- Gala: Developed in New Zealand from Cox’s Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious (late February – late March). Gala has produced many sports, including the popular Royal Gala.
- Southern Snap: Recently developed, a bright red apple said to have a rich tangy flavour with crisp, juicy flesh (late February – mid-March).
My own apple trees, I hear you ask? I have three trees but only one is bearing fruit – and then only five little, green apples, just beginning to colour up!