It is said that you should eat 2 apples a day. One in the morning for beauty and the other in the evening for health. Fortunately, the selection of apples is very large, so everyone can find a variety with the taste, aroma and appearance of their dreams. Even in winter, we can enjoy the taste of many varieties. How do we choose the best apples for us and our family among the many available? When choosing apples, we should pay special attention to two issues: the place of origin and the appearance of the fruit.
According to a survey conducted in 2020 as part of the CuTE: Cultivating Taste of Europe campaign, the place of origin of the fruit is important to one in four consumers in Europe. It is only the fourth factor that consumers pay attention to (after product quality, price and seasonality). It is a pity because the country of origin says a lot about the way the apples are grown and their quality.
Polish origin means that the fruit meets all EU standards, which do not allow the sale of apples with any symptoms of disease, pests or the presence of foreign substances. The development and condition of the apples must be such as to enable them to ripen properly at all times, to withstand transport and handling and to arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination. What is important, by choosing Polish products we support the orchard industry, which allows for continuous improvement of the production process and ultimately the delivery of even better fruit to our homes.
Following current legislation, the country of origin must be indicated on each fruit. This applies not only to supermarkets but also, for example, to vendors at marketplaces. In the case of apples packed (e.g., in sacks, crates, nets, trays), the information is given by the producer on the packaging.
Apples are often displayed in such a way that the original manufacturer’s label is not visible. In such cases, the seller is obliged to make the country of origin of the product available to the customer, in a prominent place, before the purchase.
When judging apples by their place of origin is uncertain or insufficient, we can pay attention to their external appearance. Among the wide variety of apple varieties – varying in colour, flavour or firmness – it is hard to make a choice.
We choose healthy and fresh apples to eat. Wrinkled skin is a sign that the apples have been stored poorly or for too long. Brown skin or brown spots on it also disqualify the fruit. They may indicate apple diseases. A greyish-white bloom is usually a sign of mould, and holes, soft spots or dried juice may indicate that the fruit is wormy.
Often as consumers, we choose apples that are large, shiny, and uniformly coloured. However, this is not always the right way. The most important thing for the consumer is to buy healthy and safe fruit, and not just nice looking and tasty fruit. It is imperative to avoid damaged apples – do not punch out the rotten parts and eat the remaining, theoretically “healthy” parts.
In the current season, it is worth paying attention to winter apple varieties, which are characterized by a long storage period and a multitude of culinary applications. The best-known winter apple varieties include Golden Delicious, Gala, Ligol, Jonagold, Sampion, Gloster and Idared.