Apples from Europe – high quality apples

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Apple picking, i.e. when apples taste best?

The apple is one of the most popular fruits in the world. The harvest season is one of the most important moments for fruit growers. Apples, depending on their variety, are harvested from July to October, usually between September and October. Most fruits for direct consumption are harvested when ripe. However, fruits for storage should be harvested earlier (about 1 to 2 weeks before reaching full harvest maturity), when they are still hard. However, in the case of the taste and quality of apples, the harvest time depends on the variety and climatic conditions in a given season. When is the ideal moment to harvest apples so that they are the most delicious and tempting to eat, and which European apples stand out when it comes to flavour?

 

Harvest maturity

As a rule, apples taste best when ripe. In the case of most apple varieties, the fruit is ripe when the skin becomes light and begins to shine slightly, and the flesh itself is crunchy and juicy. You can also check the ripeness of an apple by lightly pressing the skin – if it shows some resistance, the apple is ripe and ready to eat. It is worth remembering that fruit picked directly from the tree usually has a much better taste than those that have been picked earlier and stored for some time. Fruit picked straight from the tree in autumn is usually the tastiest and healthiest. Every apple producer has their own preference for harvesting time. Many factors influence when the right time to start harvesting is. The most important of these factors is the variety – some varieties taste best when their skin is thin and tender, while others are sweeter or redder and larger.

 

Examples of the best tasting European apple varieties

‘Royal Gala’ – the most sought-after apple variety on the world market is a very nicely coloured fruit. It reaches harvest maturity in the second half of September. The fruits are medium-sized, conical in shape, and their skin is smooth and slightly shiny, greenish to golden yellow, with an orange-yellow blush. The flesh is juicy, aromatic, fine-grained, tight, crunchy and very tasty. They are juicy sweet with a distinct aroma. The advantage of this variety is the fruit’s resistance to mechanical damage. It can be stored for a long time.

‘Golden Delicious’ – a variety that has been appreciated by consumers for many years. It reaches harvest maturity in October, and is ripe for consumption in winter. The fruits are very tasty, medium-sized, and spherical-conical in shape. They have a shiny, yellow-green skin with blush. The flesh is creamy, aromatic, sweet and juicy. Under appropriate conditions, it can be stored for a long time.

‘Red Jonaprince’ – a dessert variety. It reaches harvest maturity in the second half of September. The fruits are large or very large, and spherical-conical in shape. They have a shiny, smooth skin, almost 100% covered with intense, blurred, burgundy blush. The flesh is very hard, creamy-yellow, sweet-sour, aromatic, tasty. Due to its excellent storage properties and exceptional durability, this variety is ideal for export.

‘Idared’ – a late winter dessert and processing variety. Harvest maturity occurs in October, but the fruit tastes best from January. The fruit is medium or large, spherical, but slightly flattened at the top and bottom. The skin is thick, yellow, but largely covered with blush. It is also naturally waxed. The flesh is creamy, juicy, sweet and sour. They can be stored in a cold store for a long time, even until April.

 ‘Gloster’ – a winter apple variety. Harvest maturity occurs in early October. The fruit is large and conical with a large red blush. The flesh is white-green, tight, aromatic, sour, fine-grained, juicy. The variety stores well. During transport, the fruit is resistant to mechanical damage.

‘Jonagored’ – a winter, dessert and production variety of apple. It reaches harvest maturity at the end of September. Fruits are medium to large, spherical-conical, and ribbed at the calyx. The skin is medium thick, smooth, shiny, slightly greasy, intensely red in colour and with a fantastic smell, almost entirely covered with a very dark, crimson-brown, striped blush with even darker stripes. The flesh is yellowish, hard, medium firm, juicy, aromatic, sweet and sour, tasty. They can be stored in a warehouse until the end of January.

‘Red Delicious’ – it is a very popular variety in Poland and other European countries, and appreciated by consumers from various parts of the world. It reaches harvest maturity at the end of September. Apples reach consumption maturity at the turn of September and October. The fruit is medium-sized, conical with five notches covering the entire fruit, often narrowing towards the calyx. The skin is thick, smooth, greenish-yellow, covered with carmine and striped blush. It has a crispy, juicy and sweet flesh. A variety valued for its versatile use. It tolerates storage and transport well.