By Adam Calder
In 1999, botanists at the Institute of Experimental Botany in Prague crossed a Topaz Apple with a Golden Delicious Apple, and the resulting apple variety became known as the Opal Apple.
The Opal Apple has naturally occurring low levels of polyphenol oxidase, which means the cut surface of the apple won’t oxidize and turn brown. This non-browning quality makes them ideal for salads or lunchboxes. These apples are golden in color, crisp, juicy and sweet with a floral aroma and tangy flavor.
Opal Apples are the first apples in the United States to be verified with the Non-GMO Program, so you can rest assured the qualities this apple has are a result of traditional plant breeding techniques and not genome manipulation. They are only grown on one orchard in southeast Washington State.
FirstFruits Marketing, the exclusive distributor of Opal Apples, created a Youth Make a Difference initiative that awards grants to youth-led nonprofit groups. These nonprofits must focus on one or more of these four issues: food security, nutrition, agriculture, food politics/education. FirstFruits will donate up to $75,000 in grants in 2019 for the Youth Make a Difference initiative.
We are excited to bring in this new variety of apple at Wheatsfield Cooperative. Come in and try one soon, since only one orchard in the United States grows these apples the supply is limited.