Fruit and Vegetables

Variety of apples

Recognize apples, varieties and their main characteristics

The Malus Domestica species is divided into thousands of varieties throughout the world.
The apple tree is certainly one of the most cultivated trees in Italy, this success is due in particular to its fruit, a pommel, commonly called apple, which in addition to having excellent organoleptic characteristics, has a long natural conservation, which reaches even more than 4 months. For this reason it is excellent as a food during the winter, waiting for the first fruits of spring. Certainly not all apples are the same and the selection made over the years for particular characteristics has led to the creation of extremely different varieties.

Why select so many varieties?

Before the advent of modern agriculture, in each geographical area, the pedoclimatic characteristics, the traditions and the ingenuity of some scholars, have led to the selection of dozens of different varieties that were collected, consumed and sold in the city markets.
When the various areas of Italy found themselves united by plans of common agriculture with the aim of increasing the productivity of each individual area, a selection of varieties began which in a certain sense became "national".
The selected varieties had to satisfy the criteria of modern breeding techniques with the use of mechanical means, to have a good resistance to pruning, a high productivity and a natural defense from the most widespread pathologies:
apple scab, powdery mildew, jewelery, pome fruit cancer and woolly root rot.
Furthermore, other parameters were the organoleptic qualities and the affinity with the most used rootstocks.
The last non-natural selection was made by the modern market and large retailers, which required a limited number of varieties (for organizational-distribution issues) and cost containment.

Apples in our supermarkets

Apple variety: Which apple for the garden

The table shows 10 of the most "commercial" apples used by professional fruit growers. The last described apples have been cataloged as ancient varieties, a name that lately is rather fashionable among enthusiasts.
These varieties are directly linked to the regional territories and their traditions, the botanical interest, as well as collecting is linked to the rusticity of these varieties that usually have a good resistance to pathologies and a greater longevity.
An orchard with ancient varieties is an ambitious project that gives the garden an added value, highly recommended for those who love fruit and the traditions linked to it.
When choosing plants for a home orchard, choose at least 4-5 different varieties, using the scalability of fruit harvesting as a criterion, so as to have apples from August to October. Remember that ancient apples are difficult to preserve like modern varieties and should therefore be consumed not too far from the harvest.
A final consideration: not all nurseries cultivate these varieties, look for nurserymen specialized in ancient fruits on the net (there are about ten in Italy), they are usually real collectors who grow traditional apples from all regions of our beautiful Italy .

Golden Delicious
Yellow slightly red. Juicy and compact pulp.
Ripens in early September.
High conservation
Origin: USA

Stark Delicious
Intense dark red.
Sweet taste, white pulp.
It is the apple of snow white
collected in mid-September
USA origin
Bicolor yellow-red, Leggermete aspra.
Autumn variety, kept until February.
Origin: Germany

Vinous peel, white acidulous pulp.
Ripens in early autumn. Good conservation
Origin: Southern Italy

roundish, irregular. Greenish-yellow peel, with a red tinge.
sweet and aromatic.
Early summer harvest.
Low conservation
ancient variety
Origin: Umbria

Large, with a flat shape. Spotted yellow rusty skin.
Ripens in early September.
The antioxidant content increases if stored in a cool place as well as lasting
Origin: Canada

Granny smith
Green, a bit sour taste. Autumn ripening.
Origin: Australia

Royal Gala
very juicy and crunchy small apple. Red peel with subtle shades of yellow. Very sweet
It is harvested from the end of August
Origin: New Zealand
firm flesh, thick skin, variegated red. Ripens at the end of October. It has an excellent conservation
Origin: Japan

Stayman winesap
green yellow rough skin, widely stained and striated.
High conservation
Origin: USA

Saint John
roundish, irregular. Greenish-yellow peel, with red tinge.
sweet and aromatic.
Early summer harvest.
Low conservation
ancient variety
Origin: Umbria
Fruit of small average size. The skin is smooth, with a yellow-green and orange-red color. Sweet taste.
Ancient variety
Origin: Northern Italy