The Ambrosia is no ordinary apple. Aptly named after the mythical “food of the gods”, this stunning apple, born from a chance seedling, is a delight for all the senses. When you first set eyes on the Ambrosia apple, you will be drawn to its glossy, bi-coloured good looks. It has an attractive conical shape and smooth, flawless skin with a bright, almost fluorescent pink blush over a creamy-yellow background. As you draw closer, you will become aware of its distinct perfumed aroma.
Then, as you bite into the Ambrosia apple’s tender, juicy flesh with its fine crisp texture, the apple’s honeyed flavour will saturate your taste buds, leaving you refreshed and satisfied.
Little wonder that this sweet, low-acid apple consistently rates at the top in taste-tests and sensory panels, and is a hit with both children and adults alike.
The bi-coloured Ambrosia apple is a “mid-season” apple. This means that in the northern hemisphere Ambrosia apples ripen in late September or early October depending on the region in which they are grown. They require cool nights and warm sunny days to develop their almost luminous appearance, but it is not their colouring that determines when they are picked. Starch tests are conducted on the apples to ensure that they have reached the peak of maturity. This scientific approach to harvesting ensures that all Ambrosia apples are sweet and crunchy, and blemish free.
Stored under controlled atmospheric conditions, Ambrosia apples are available for six months or more after harvest.
Just for fun, here are some interesting facts that you may or may not already know about the divine Ambrosia apple:
Ambrosia is a low-acid apple, which makes it easier for kids and older people to digest.
Once you have purchased your Ambrosia apples, you should store them in the refrigerator crisper to ensure that they retain their flavour and texture.
Three medium Ambrosia apples equal about 450g (1lb). One medium apple yields about 175ml (3/4 cup) of sliced apples.
In an article written for the Vancouver Province newspaper, Stephen Wong, a leading Vancouver food consultant and chef, rated the Ambrosia 9 out of 10 for texture, juiciness, flavour, and general attributes.
Ambrosia apples are now being grown by farmers in North America, Europe, Chile and New Zealand, and are available to purchase in stores around the world.
In order to extend their availability beyond harvest time, Ambrosia apples are "put to sleep" in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage. CA storage takes cold storage a step further by lowering the temperature and the oxygen levels, so fruit can be stored for six months or more and remain harvest fresh.
Ambrosias, like other apples, are loaded with health giving properties such as pectin, a cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre, and anti-oxidants, which are good for preventing heart disease.
The original Ambrosia apple tree was grown from a chance seedling. Commercially viable chance seedlings are extremely rare; less than a dozen of these chance seedlings have found their way to market in the past 50 years.
Ambrosia means "food of the gods" as depicted in ancient Greek mythology. The name was chosen by Wilfrid Mennell, who, with his wife Sally, discovered the original Ambrosia apple tree in their orchard in the Similkameen Valley of British Columbia.
"The Ambrosia is a rare little beauty with a creamy flesh and wonderful taste ...right up there with Royal Gala and Braeburn. This apple doesn't oxidize or turn brown quickly so it's a lovely ingredient for your favourite fruit salad!" says Pete Luckett, host of the Food Network's show The Food Hunter.
Although Ambrosia is a sweet apple, official taste comparisons have proved that even the most ardent fans of tart apples will be won over by its juiciness and crunchy texture.
When first introduced to the public at the annual Apple Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ambrosia met with instant acclaim and has been a favourite of the Festival ever since.
The original British Columbia growers of Ambrosia were so excited about the Ambrosia apple and its potential, that they took the extraordinary step of creating a council dedicated to marketing this new variety. The New Tree Fruit Varieties Development Council was formed in 2001 and continues to promote new varieties in British Columbia.