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Opalescent apples are striking in appearance with a dark red blush over a yellow-green background. Some fruits also have russet spots and have ribs. Opalescents range in size from medium to large, but tend toward the larger end and are frequently referred to as "hefty." The cream-colored flesh is crunchy and moderately juicy. The taste is sweet balanced with tart, with undertones of strawberry, pineapple, and floral notes such as lilac.
Opalescent apples are available beginning in early fall.
The Opalescent apple is a antique variety of Malus domestica that originated in early American times. The exact parentage is unknown since it was a chance discovery.
One apple contains a host of healthy nutrients in a low-calorie package. In addition to Vitamin C, apples provide dietary fiber and smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
While Opalescents can be use in cooking and baking, it shines when eaten fresh. This variety does not hold up as well in storage as some, and should be eaten within a month under refrigeration. Choose fruits that are free from bruises and rot, although other small blemishes are to be expected particularly with antique apples.
During the 19th century, many new varieties of apples were discovered in the United States. The first apples were planted in New England in 1623, and have become a staple of American cuisine. Today they are grown all across the country.
Like most old American varieties of apples, the Opalescent was a chance discovery. George Hudson stumbled across a new and delicious variety in the 1880s in Michigan. He originally named it Hudson's Pride of Michigan after himself. Later on, Dayton Star Nursery began growing and marketing the same variety as Opalescent.