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Atlas apples are particularly large and beautiful with some prominent ribbing. The skin is greenish-yellow flushed with pink, red, or orange, and has red striping. Inside, the white flesh is soft and juicy. The flavor is brisk, and leans more toward subacidic and savory than sweet. Where Atlas trees do not grow as well, such as England, the fruits may taste more green and metallic rather than ripe.
Atlas apples are available in the fall through early winter.
Atlas apples are a nineteenth century heirloom variety of Malus domestica from Canada. They are not well known, but make good apple trees for northern climates. The parentage of Atlas is likely Manks Codlin crossed with an unknown variety; however, they may also be Winter Saint Lawrence crossed with Duchess Oldenburg.
Apples are a filling, healthy choice with plenty of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. They are high in dietary fiber, containing around 4 grams each. Fiber (both soluble and insoluble) helps keep the digestive system healthy. Apples also contain Vitamin C, other antioxidants, and potassium. Additionally, one medium apple contains only around 95 calories.
The Atlas apple is a dual-purpose apple used for both fresh eating and for baking/cooking. Bake into pies with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and combine with oats and nuts or raisins for comforting crisps. Atlas apples should be allowed to ripen off the tree for some time for best dessert use. Store in a cool, dry place to keep them as long as possible.
Canada is generally not considered a prime apple-growing region, but many varieties have been grown or developed there over the years, including Atlas. The first apples were grown in Nova Scotia in the seventeenth century, and eventually spread to other provinces.
The Atlas apple was first raised from a seed in 1898 at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Canada; it was then introduced to market in 1924. Because it was developed in Canada, this is a hardy tree that can withstand frosts and cold winters and is suitable for other northern climates.