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Cheekie apples are identifiable by their dark red blush and classic apple shape. Modern apples tend to be bred for crispness and sweetness, and the Cheekie is no exception. The flavor is sweet and tropical, with notes of passion fruit and a small amount of acidity.
Cheekie apples are available late summer through fall.
Cheekie apples are a very recent variety of apple (Malus domestica) from New Zealand that are only available in limited quantities in the U.S. They are a cross of the Granny Smith apple and the Splendour apple.
Apples are a healthy snack or meal option, with few calories; no fat, sodium, or cholesterol; and plenty of nutrients such as fiber and Vitamin C. Apples also contain small amounts of boron, Vitamin B, quercetin, and several types of antioxidants and phytochemicals that work as part of a healthy diet to prevent chronic diseases.
Cheekies are a versatile apple, useful for eating fresh out of hand, cooking or baking, making into sauces, and juicing. Apples pair well with warm spices in desserts such as cinnamon and nutmeg, or with more unusual flavor choices like rosemary or sage in meat and poultry dishes. Store in a cool, dry place such as the refrigerator.
The Cheekie apple is an example of a one of the many apples to have recently been developed and grown in New Zealand. The apple industry is a growing part of the New Zealand economy, which exported a record $800 million worth of apples in 2016. The industry targets markets around the world, including the Middle East and Asia.
Cheekie apples are sold by Freshco in New Zealand and Sage Fruit Company in the United States, which also sells other newly-developed apple varieties such as Sonya and Breeze. Sage expects to release a higher volume of apples in the next few years. Cheekies grow best in the warm summers and cold winters found in New Zealand where they are grown.