Asian pears range in size from small to medium and vary in shape from round, globular, and squat to oval with a bulbous base that tapers into a rounded top. The firm skin can be golden yellow, green, or bronze and may be smooth, have some russeting, or covered in visible lenticels or pores. The flesh is ivory to white and is crunchy, juicy, and creamy with a central fibrous core encasing several small, brown-black seeds. When ripe, Asian pears are crisp with a sweet, floral flavor, low acidity, and a fragrant aroma.
Asian pears are available year-round, with peak season in the early fall through winter.
Asian pears, botanically classified as Pyrus pyrifolia, grow on trees that can reach up to seven meters in height and are members of the Rosaceae or rose family. There are thousands of different known varieties of Asian pears, each varying slightly in shape and color, and Asian pears are relatives of the ussuri pear, Pyrus ussuriensis, and the Japanese sand pear, Pyrus serotina. Asian pears are known by many names including Nashi, Japanese pear, Sand pear, Chinese pear, and Apple pear. Unlike regular pears, Asian pears ripen on the tree, are only picked and sold when ripe, and maintain their crisp texture long after being picked. Careful handling must be practiced when picking, packing, and transporting Asian pears as their delicate skin bruises and becomes discolored easily. Asian pears are favored across the world for their crunchy texture and sweet flesh and are predominately consumed as fresh eating fruit.
Asian pears are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and vitamin K.
Red Delicious is one of the most famous American apples, and one of the most widely grown apple varieties. Although the names are similar, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious are entirely different varieties. There are a lot of other similarities though: both varieties were discovered in the USA at the end of the 19th century, both need warm climates, both have interesting histories, and both are basically sweet apples.
Red Delicious is "sport" of the original Delicious apple, the bright red colour making it more commercially successful, and it has become a very important commercial apple variety especially in North America.
Red Delicious is a medium-sized apple, with a tall conical shape. The dark and intense crimson colour makes it the quintessential red apple, and it is has strong shelf appeal. A number of improved "sports" have been developed, of which the most well-known is probably Starking.
Unfortunately the visual appeal is not matched by the flavor. Red Delicious has a sweet but very mild flavor, somewhat reminscent of slightly over-ripe melon. The flesh is juicy and has a light crispness. The skin can be quite tough. Overall Red Delicious can be quite a refreshing apple to eat, but its chief characteristic is that it has almost no flavor at all.
Some enthusiasts also believe that in the development of more highly coloured variants, the good flavor of the original Delicious has been bred out.
Numerous further sports of Red Delicious have been developed, including: Oregon, Otago, Red Chief, Red King, Red Spur, Richared, Starking, Starkrimson, Starkspur.
Red Delicious, like Golden Delicious, is starting to decline in popularity. According to the "Washington Post", Red Delicious' share of the harvest in Washington State, one of the USA's key apple-growing regions, has fallen from 3/4qtrs to just over 1/3rd of production in the 20 years to 2003. The lack of flavour is cited as one of the factors, and in Europe (where flavor has perhaps been relatively more important to consumers), Red Delicious has never been that successful. It is also worth noting that the vast majority of American Red Delicious production takes place in Washington State, where the cooler autumn climate contributes towards the perfect deep red finish and distinctive conical appearance. Red Delicious grown elsewhere in the US tends not to have the same level of red colouration, forcing growers to use some of the redder sports, which in turn do not always have the conical characteristics which consumers associate with Red Delicious.
Red Delicious has been extensively used in breeding programmes because of its attractive red color and crisp flesh. It has useful growing qualities too - it is has a good reputation for resistance to fireblight and cedar apple rust. Its most interesting modern offspring is probably Fuji. It is also a parent of Empire, which inherits some of the melon flavour. It may also be a parent of Cameo.
An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus domestica). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian tradition.
Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally, apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and use, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
Worldwide production of apples in 2018 was 86 million tonnes, with China accounting for nearly half of the total.
Fuji is surely one of the more attractive modern apple varieties. Its main characteristic is the lovely pink speckled flush over a yellow-green background. It is also crisp and juicy, with dull white flesh which snaps cleanly. The flavor is predominantly sweet, very refreshing (especially if slightly chilled), but not particularly outstanding.
As you might expect, Fuji comes from Japan, where it was developed in the 1940s and released in 1962. However its parentage is all-american. Fuji is a cross between the widely grown Red Delicious, and Ralls Janet, which is much less well known but is probably the reason for Fuji's attractive pink flush.
Fuji apples are quite widely grown, the main northern hemisphere production comes from Japan, China and the USA. Fuji is a late-ripening apple variety, and becomes available in November/December northern hemisphere orchards) and May/June (southern hemisphere orchards). Fuji apples need lots of sunshine to ripen properly so it is not grown commercially in the UK or nothern USA.
In some ways it is surprising that Fuji is not a more popular variety, given its excellent appearance. The obvious comparison is with Pink Lady, and in many respects Fuji has the better appearance - the pink flush has a lighter background and the skin texture feels clean and dry compared to the sheen of Pink Lady. Of course Fuji, being an older variety, does not have the same degree of marketing effort which has supported the rise of Pink Lady. Also, it has to be said that the colour variation of Fuji is quite wide, ranging from from light pink to crimson pink - some of this being the result of the development of a number of sports and variations on the original.
For most of the 20th century the USA dominated world apple production (mainly with Golden Delicious and Red Delicious), but China is now the biggest single apple growing region. Fuji accounts for more than 70% of apple production in China.
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