Okanagan summer apple varieties harvested in July and August are generally classed as 'early summer' or 'summer'. The main difference between summer apples and fall apples is keeping quality. And although summer apples have shorter storage life and tend to be less crisp, it certainly doesn't compromise flavor or nutritional value!
Today there are at least 30 different types of apples available in the Okanagan, beginning in July. Okanagan summer apple varieties include Transparents, Sunrise Apple, Summer Reds, Ginger Gold, Sinta Apple, Royal Gala, and McIntosh Apples.
Summer apples are excellent for fresh eating, in apple salads, applesauce, and many other homemade apple recipes! Some are sweet. And some are tart. They are generally available beginning in July, and, depending on which part of the Okanagan you're in, you'll find them into early September when fall apple varieties come ready.
Transparent Apple Variety (Early Summer)
Transparents are early "summer" apples, usually begin harvesting around late July. Transparent apples are early ripening apples that have a short season and also a short storage life.
Transparent apple fruit is an attractive, medium to large sized apple, with a light greenish-yellow color. It is a lovely sour, tender apple. The transparent apple variety has a tart flavor, which makes them ideal for your favorite homemade apple pie recipes! Considered a very tart variety, unless you love sour it's not recommended for eating fresh. This is one of the Okanagan summer apple varieties that you likely won't find it in grocery stores. But you will find it at some local orchards like Davison Orchards in Vernon.
Sunrise Apple (Mid Summer)
Sunrise apple is another one of the earlier types of apples, or summer apples, that are available in the Okanagan.
The Sunrise apple variety was developed at the Summerland Research Station Apple Breeding Program. Its a cross between a McIntosh and a Golden Delicious apple. The fruit are medium to large sized, and the apple is crisp and juicy right off the tree! Sunrise apples are a yellow-red color, with more red on the side that is exposed to the sun, and with a distinguishable pear-grape flavor.
As a typical summer apple, it does not keep long, and is best for eating fresh. Sunrise apples are also delicious in those easy summer desserts like apple cobbler, and for making homemade apple juice!
Summer Red Apple (Mid Summer)
Summer red is a Golden Delicious and McIntosh cross, like the Sunrise apple. Summer Red's are a delicious early apple, with a bit of a tart and delightful crispness for a summer apple.
These apples are generally available mid August. Summer Red apples are very good for baking. They make a very nice apple crisp or apple crumble, and are delicious in an apple muffin recipe. In a homemade applesauce recipe, Summer Red apples make applesauce pink.
Ginger Gold Apple (Late Summer)
Ginger Gold apple is a large early Golden Delicious cross. Ginger Gold apple variety originated in a Winesap orchard near Lovingston, Virginia, and named after the orchardist's wife. Its ancestors are the Golden Delicious and Albermarle Pippin apples.
It has a crisp, unique sweet flavor that is excellent for eating fresh, and maintains a nice crisp white flesh when it's cut. These types of apples are a glossy yellow green apple with good storing qualities early in the season. Ginger Gold is available in late August in the Okanagan Valley. It will keep for up to about 2 weeks, and should be kept as cool as possible. A good quality Ginger Gold apple should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light. This apple is excellent for pie making, and because it holds it's shape well; also makes nice baked apples, and hearty apple muffins.
Sinta Apple (Late Summer)
Sinta apple is a Golden Delicious and Grimes Golden cross apple that was developed in British Columbia in the 1950's. These types of apples are a crisp, juicy apple with a deep creamy flesh. They have a sweet, aromatic flavor, that makes them excellent for homemade applesauce, apple pies, and homemade apple pie filling.
Sinta apples are a summer apple harvested in the Okanagan in late August. These are a delicious summer apple for eating fresh or added to fresh fruit desserts and fresh fruit salad recipes!
McIntosh Apple (Late Summer)
Good old McIntosh Apples! Mac's were discovered in Ontario in 1820, and have been a long time favorite Canadian apple.
A fresh McIntosh apple is an excellent eating apple, but we also love apple sauce made from it. McIntosh apple is a medium firm, crisp apple with a slight tart and tangy taste to it.
The fruit beautiful deep red color, and the flesh is white, mouth watering, tender, and very juicy. McIntosh is an excellent all purpose apple, and is available in the Okanagan from late August to the middle of October. When kept refrigerated, the McIntosh apple can be stored for a couple of months.
Royal Gala Apple (Late Summer)
The Royal Gala is one of the world's favorite apple variety. Royal Gala apple variety was developed in New Zealand around 1960, and is a wonderful fresh eating and salad apple. The fruits have creamy yellow skin with pink stripes. These are one of the more common Okanagan summer apple varieties.
The flesh is crisp and dense, and they have a delicious honey sweet flavor. They are especially yummy when eaten right off the tree on a cold day! Royal Gala is especially excellent in a Chicken Waldorf Salad or a simple Apple Waldorf Salad recipe. Royal Gala apple is available in the Okanagan Valley between the end of August and the end of October, and these apples store very well.
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