Valentine’s apple of your eye

Glynn and Brad Fankhauser in their Drouin Orchards in Victoria with the specially grown Smitten apples, that have been a huge marketing success for Valentine's Day.
Glynn and Brad Fankhauser in their Drouin Orchards in Victoria with the specially grown Smitten apples, that have been a huge marketing success for Valentine's Day.

Sweet and scrumptious, is that a description of your loved one for Valentine’s Day today or perhaps the apple you’ve just given them?

Could be both. Savvy food marketers and fresh produce company Montague have marketed an apple that’s just ripe for lovers passing on a gift to that special person. What better than something you can crunch and savour?

The ‘Smitten apple’ is a blend of Gala, Braeburn, Falstaff and Fiesta varieties that was bred in New Zealand about 15 years ago.

According to apple growers, the Fankhausers, it’s a perfect early season apple that is “hard as an apple should be”, according to Brad Fankhauser.

“While a lot of the galas coming on the market now are a bit soft the Smitten has just the right crunch, just as an apple should be,” he said. 

Smitten apples. Picture: www.smittenapple.com

Smitten apples. Picture: www.smittenapple.com

It had been a great growing season with flavour and colour now coming into the apples.

The Fankhausers have only been in production of the Smitten apples for two years, with a five-year tree lead-up. The Smitten crop is expecting to increase by 20,000 cartons this season.

According to the press release: "As industry innovators, Montague continues to invest in the research and development of new apple brands. In its third season, Smitten® represents the company’s latest success, and is already a firm favourite amongst consumers looking for a refreshing summer apple treat.

"Coles is excited to once again work alongside long-time suppliers Montague, to offer this unique apple variety to our customers,” says Daniel Corrigan, Coles business category manager of Fresh Produce. “We hope they’ll be as smitten with the sweet crunch of this special apple as we are.”

"The Smitten® crop is expecting to increase by 20,000 cartons this season.