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Freyberg apples are available in the fall.
Freyberg apples are a variety of Malus domestica that is a New Zealand cross between Cox’s Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious. This variety of apple is sometimes misspelled “Freyburg.” Freyberg apples are rarely grown commercially as they are typically planted as a home or backyard garden variety. The tree is small and can succumb to scab, but otherwise produces many fruit.
Freyberg apples are a medium-sized, yellow-green fruit that can have occasional russeting on the skin. This apple is noted for its aromatics with hints of anise/licorice and pear. The Freyberg apple has white to cream-colored flesh with a fine, crisp texture and high juice content. This apple has a sweet flavor reminiscent of its parent Golden Delicious, although it is more complex. The longer Freyberg apples are left on the tree, the greater the aroma and developed notes of anise.
Adding apples to the diet helps reach the recommended 2 cups of fruit a day. Apples provide a variety of important nutrients, including 20% of the daily recommended value of dietary fiber, 8% of Vitamin C, and 7% of potassium.
Freyberg apples are well-suited for fresh eating. The sweetness and notes of pear and anise lend well to sauces. Add slices to grilled cheese sandwiches or green salads. Freyberg apples keep well, stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
The parent varieties of the Freyberg apple have also been combined to create other apple varieties such as the Rubinette apple. Freyberg apples tend to display more characteristics from the Golden Delicious parent, while Rubinettes are more similar to the Cox’s Orange Pippin. The pair demonstrates an interesting experiment in the wide variety of characteristics of apples with the same parentage. The varieties that are chosen after breeding reflect the tastes and market needs of the time.
Freyberg apples were developed in the 1930s in New Zealand by J.H Kidd, who wanted to cross a Cox’s Orange Pippin—a Reinette-style apple—with American varieties. This particular crossing was named for Lord Bernard Freyberg, the Governor-General of New Zealand from 1946 to 1952. Seedlings were then sent to the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, which developed them and introduced the Freyberg to the market in 1959.