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Meigetsu apples are round and slightly conical in shape, averaging 7-9 centimeters in diameter. The smooth skin is yellow with pink blushing, and some brown speckling may occur. The pale yellow-white flesh is firm, fragrant, and fine-textured. Meigetsu apples are crisp and juicy with a honey-like sweetness.
Meigetsu apples are available late fall through winter.
Meigetsu apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a Japanese hybrid that is known for their sweet flavor. Meigetsu apples are a cross between the Japanese Akagi and the Fuji apple and were bred for improved taste, quality, and resistance to disease. Both parent apples are known for their juicy and sweet flavor, and the Meigetsu apple inherited these traits and measures 16 on the Brix scale which is similar to the sweetness of melons and mangos.
Meigetsu apples contain vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Meigetsu apples are best suited for raw consumption. They were bred for fresh eating and can be sliced and used in fruit and green salads or consumed as a plain snack or dessert. Meigetsu apples have a high sugar content and are not fit for baking or combining into processed products. Meigetsu apples will keep up to one month when stored in a cool and dry place.
The name Meigetsu means “beautiful moon” in Japanese. Like other rare specialty fruit, Meigetsu apples are given to colleagues, friends, and family as gifts in Japan and are a sign of friendship. The fruit is often beautifully wrapped and is seen as candy rather than a source of nutrition or an ingredient for baking. Japanese families also enjoy traveling to the local farms that produce the Meigetsu in the late fall to pick them directly off the trees.
Meigetsu apples were bred at the Gunma Agricultural Research Centre in the Gunma Prefecture, Japan, and were released to market in 1991. Today, Meigetsu apples remain in limited production and can be found at local farm stands in Japan.