Red Melba

Why you should be excited

Red Melba is a sport of the pleasant Canadian early season apple, Melba. As you might guess, it’s more red than the original.

The story of Red Melba

We modest Canadians tend not to give ourselves a lot of credit for much of anything.

And this would certainly include credit for creating quality apple varieties. That may be one reason why we don’t even know many of the varieties that have been bred here. Like Melba, or Red Melba, its much deeper-coloured sport.

This is a tasty summer apple that has been praised internationally as having ‘lovely’ flavour. Red Melba is even nicer than Melba and not just because it’s got richer colouring; it also is firmer and less vulnerable to bruising.

So let’s hear some pride in quality Canadian apples: “Oh, Canada!”…

Red Melba Facts

Its origins

A sport of Melba; 1940s introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

The white flesh is fairly firm yet melting, sweet and juicy, with hints of strawberry and a vinous flavour -- like its parent, McIntosh.


Striped and flushed a much deeper red than the regular Melba.

When they’re available

Early season (usually in late August).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Keeping ability

Minimal (best eaten within a week or 2 of harvest).