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Santanas are medium-sized apples with red skin, and the flavor is considered vinous and floral. However, the real attraction of this apple is its low-allergenic properties. Santanas do not store exceptionally well, but can be kept for one to two months under proper storage conditions.
Santana apples are available from mid-fall through winter.
Santana apples are a fairly new variety of Malus domestica from the Netherlands. They are best known as apples that can be eaten by people with mild apple allergies, so it has been a welcome addition to the market. The tree is also very resistant to disease, particularly scab. Fewer pesticides are needed to grow this apple, so they are often grown organically. Santana's parents are Elstar and Priscilla.
Because Santanas are good for those who are sensitive to apples, and possibly other fruits, they are a good way for these people to get more fruit into their diets. Apples contain soluble and insoluble fiber, good for the digestive system. They also contain Vitamins C and A, and some calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and iron.
This apple is best eaten fresh, but can also be used in cooking and baking.
Santana is just one of two apples available for people who are sensitive to apples. Santanas have reduced levels of certain proteins that cause allergic reactions in a small percentage of people, but studies have shown that 75% of people who are sensitive to apples can eat Santanas. The success of this apple led growers to develop Elise, a second apple with low allergenic properties.
The Santana apple was first bred in the Netherlands in the 1970s, but didn't make it to market until 2006. When a Dutch supermarket approached growers about selling a low-allergen apple, farmers, scientists, and marketers worked together to start selling Santanas.