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Ambrosia

Why you should be excited

Ambrosia is a modern throwback to the days when most new apple varieties were random discoveries.

The story of Ambrosia

Science may be an efficient way to come up with new apple varieties through very intentional cross-breeding, but it’s nice to be reminded by Mother Nature every so often that it’s most certainly not the only way.

Take Ambrosia, for example, an apple variety that appeared by chance in a Similkameen Valley orchard in British Columbia back in the early ‘90s.

That first tree grew as an unintended seedling - presumably having sprouted from a fallen apple - among Jonagold trees. The orchard owner noticed the young tree because, as it began producing apples, the orchard workers tended to strip the tree of fruit - and eat them - as soon as they were ripe.

The rest is history, as that rogue Ambrosia tree was propagated through grafting and planted in other orchards, the variety became quite popular, and is now grown in several countries. Many people consider Ambrosia to be British Columbia's finest homegrown apple (apologies to Spartan, Silken and quite a few others).

And what a fine apple it turned out to be: as tasty as it is pretty and a good keeper to boot.

Ambrosia Facts

Its origins

Discovered in the Similkameen Valley, British Columbia, Canada; early 1990s introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

The cream-coloured flesh is sweet, subacid, crisp, juicy and aromatic.

Appearance

This pretty yellow apple is mostly covered with pink/red striping and blush. It's a medium to large-sized apple.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in early October).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking

Good.

Quality for cider

While not a cider stalwart, Ambrosia can provide bulk to ciders with lots of sweet juice.

Keeping ability

Very good (about 3 months when kept refrigerated).