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The Akane apple is round to conical and medium-sized. It has a green-yellow skin covered with a bright red color, often with lenticels. Under the skin, it has a dense, firm white flesh with some juice. Akanes have a good balance of sweet and sharp flavors—some note a mild strawberry, raspberry flavor, wine, and kiwi.
Akane apples are available in the late summer and early fall months.
The Akane apple is a Japanese variety of Malus domestica, pronounced “Ah-kah-nay.” It is a cross between the high-quality American heritage apple variety Jonathan and the classic English early variety Worcester Pearmain. Sometimes known as Tokyo Rose, Tohoku No.3, and Prime Red, this variety is prized for being one of the best early-season apples.
Apples contain few calories, but many important nutrients. Among the benefits are dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium. Apples do not contain fat, sodium, or cholesterol.
This variety is great for fresh eating but can also be dried as well as cooked. Akanes keep their shape when cooked or baked. Because their flavor and sweetness can be mild, use in recipes with brown sugar, raisins, and other sweeter apples. Although they brown fairly quickly, they also make nice additions to salads. Akanes, like many early variety apples, do not keep well. Keep in the refrigerator or other cool, dry place, and use within a week.
Akane apples has enjoyed modest success in the United States, even though it has more in common with traditional English varieties. However, it is not as popular as the Mutsu, another Japanese apple developed at the same research station in Japan.
The origins of the Akane apple begin in World War II. Japan dedicated itself to developing new crops including apples, to provide food for citizens and troops during the war. The Akane apple was developed at the Morioka Experimental Station in Japan in 1937. Because of the war, it wasn’t until 1970 that Akanes were introduced to the global market. Today they grow well in a wide variety of climates, from Japan to the United States.
Recipes that include Akane Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Akane Apples using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.