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Cameo apples are covered in red stripes that develop just prior to the apple being ready for harvest. By picking the apples as soon as they develop this signature striping ensures their skin maintains the thin and delicate texture Cameo’s are known. Its flesh is dense and creamy white to yellow in color with a crisp and juicy texture. The Cameo’s flavor is the perfect balance of sweet and tart with nuances of both honey and citrus.
Cameo apples are available late fall through early spring.
Believed to be a relative of the Red and Golden Delicious apple, Cameo apples that come out of Washington State are regulated by the CAMA, or Cameo Apple Marketing Association. In order to be considered a Cameo, these apples must meet a list of standards based upon taste, texture and color.
Cameo apples are sodium and cholesterol free and rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. They also contain a fair amount of potassium and vitamin C as well as some iron, vitamin A and calcium. A recent study of the newest apple varieties conducted at the University of Bonn revealed that Cameo apples contained the highest amount of antioxidants of all thirty-one apples studied.
Cameo apples can be used in both sweet and savory applications. Their resistance to browning when cut makes them a choice apple for use in fresh preparations such as on sandwiches, in salads, as an edible garnish or on cheese boards. Cameo’s sweet flavor is enhanced in cooked preparations. Add chopped Cameo to quiche, polenta and cobblers. Their dense flesh holds up extremely well when cooked. Try topping a pizza with sliced Cameo, use as a chunky filling for pastries or hollow out and stuff to make baked apples. Cameo apples pair well with squash, bacon, pears and flavorful cheeses such goat, cheddar and ricotta.
Formerly known as Carousel, the Cameo apple was discovered growing as a chance seedling in an orchard near Wenatchee, Washington in the 1980s. Cameo apples can be found growing in apple growing regions throughout the United States but the bulk of what is available commercially comes out of Washington State. In addition, they have become an increasingly popular apple in Brittan with orchards in Kent, England providing most of the supply.
Recipes that include Cameo Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Cameo 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.