Why you should be excited

Sansa is a Japanese apple that delivers a nice balance of sweet and tart fairly early in the season.

The story of Sansa

Created as if as a reminder for us to not harbour preconceptions about apple varieties bred in different places, Sansa is that rare commodity: a Japanese-bred apple that isn’t just sweet.

It’s also tart and aromatic with complex flavours, plus it’s ready to eat weeks before the popular Gala, one of its parents.

Sansa proves that not all Japanese-bred apples are one-note sugar bombs.

And a pleasant exception to the rule it is, as Sansa is ripe a few weeks before many of the most interesting apple varieties, yet still has complexity usually associated with late ripeners.

It doesn’t keep long, though, so enjoy Sansa in September before moving on to the big boys.

Sansa Facts

Its origins

Bred in Morioka, Japan; 1988 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Crisp and sweet, with a hint of tartness. Has a complex, aromatic flavour and green-white tender flesh.


Small to medium-sized with bright red stripes and blush on a yellow-green background.

When they’re available

Mid-season (usually in mid-September).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Keeping ability

Limited (about 2 weeks when kept refrigerated).