Fuji Apples Information Facts Specialty Taste 2022
The Fuji apple is an apple cultivar developed by growers at Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, Aomori, Japan, in the late 1930s, and brought to market in 1962. It originated as a cross between two American apple varieties—the Red Delicious and old Virginia Ralls
Origin: Fujisaki, Aomori (1930s)
Species: M. Pumila
Hybrid parentage: Red Delicious × Ralls Janet
Let’s see what characteristics have made a table apple varietal so unique that it has conquered the whole world. The Fuji apple, of Japanese origin, has a long history.
Patents and hybridizations of modern agriculture, the search for specific organoleptic characteristics that meet the needs of an increasingly demanding market in terms of shape, color, flavor, smell, texture, and other factors. Today we meet the Fuji apple.
History of the Fuji Apple
Let’s start with Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit. Did you know that an apple could be a translation error from Hebrew to Latin? In Genesis, the “tree of the fruit of good and evil” is mentioned, and the Latin translation of evil is Malum, which also means apple… so…
Suppose we talk about a tree… white and in a bottle. Leaving aside the biblical part, let’s go to science.
The apple is the fruit of the Malus Domestica species, and there are no more apples. All that we know are due to this species that had its origin according to genetic studies in Kazakhstan bordering China.
It has been evolving and expanding throughout the territory, and today it is one of the most cultivated fruits with several varietals that frightens the number. The genus Malus is relatively small since it has 35 accepted species.
Today, the varieties that humans have been generating with hybridizations reach tens of thousands. Yes.
Even if we go to the supermarket and “only” have Golden, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, the well-known pippin and little else… in reality, there are thousands and thousands of varieties throughout the world.
How many varieties are there apart from the Fuji apple?
To give an example, we are going to mention Asturian cider. I don’t know if you have noticed an alcoholic beverage that we have in Spain made with our very own apple.
Yes, the cider. Whether Asturian (the most famous), Cantabrian or Basque, all three are made with apples. And have you stopped to ask how many varieties are used to prepare cider?
Because when we talk about wine, we know grapes, but apples? The Protected Designation of Origin for Asturian cider, for example, contemplates 76 varieties, nothing more and nothing less, to make cider!
Let’s take a breath and give a show of pulmonary power: Amariega, Antonona, Arbeya, Beldredo, Blanquina, Carrandona, Carrió, Cladurina, Bitter-acid Cladurina, Clara, Collaína, Collaos, Coloradona, Colorá amarga, Corchu, Cristalina, De la riega, Dura, Durón D’arroes Durón incarnate, Durcolorá, Durona de tresalí, Ernestina, Fresnosa, Fuentes, Josefa, Limón Montés, Lin, Madiedo, María Elena, Mariñana, Martina, Meana, Miyeres, Montés de flor, Montés de la llamara, Montoto, Panquerina, Umbrellas, Peñarudes, Sloth, Perico, Perracabiella, Prurico, Early Perurico, Picón Prieta, Raxao, Raxarega, Acid Raxila, Sweet Raxila, Striped Raxina, Bitter Raxina, Acid Raxina, Sweet Raxina, Raxina marelo, Acid Raxona, Sweet Raxina , Regona, Reineta caravia, Reineta incarnate, Reineta paints, Repinaldo caravia, Repinaldo bone, Rosadona, San just, San roqueña,Solarina, Sucu, Teórica, Verdialona, Verdosa and Xuanina.
And it is that each one of these apples gives the cider a different touch in terms of the sugar level, acidity, astringency, bitterness; some have more juice, others less, earlier, later, more production, less production, agronomic characteristics of the variety better for one soil than for another…
There are hundreds of variables, and the cider is made from several apples. Just as in wine, we have monovarietal wines (made with a single grape variety); in the case of cider, we do not know if there is any successful monovarietal. And this is only for cider!
There are tens of thousands of apple varieties in the world.
The most famous table apples in Spain
Many characteristics define a new variety of fruit, vegetables, cereal, or agricultural products. And they are not always the taste or visual quality (shape, colour, size, brightness, stains) of the final product.
There are agronomic variables that often take precedence, such as harvesting time, ease of harvesting, handling… or in the particular case of apples, for example, resistance to mottling, sunburn or certain diseases that can save a lot on phytosanitary treatments and reduce losses.
Other variables that are looked at are, for example, post-harvest resistance so that the product arrives in optimal conditions to the retailer and, therefore, to your home.
And all this is done in genetic improvement programs, hybridizing and backcrossing for years until the desired variety is achieved. But let’s focus on the organoleptic variables. Do we want the same in the taste of an apple? Of course not, and let’s see what main parameters differentiate one from another:
- Colour (uniform, mono-colour, bicolour, tricolour, with spots, without spots)
- Flavour (it is a mixture of the previous two).
- Hardness, thickness and appearance of the skin (thin, thick, rough, smooth, shiny, dull skin)
- Texture and colour of the pulp (hard, earthy, firm, juicy, crunchy, sandy, white, yellow…)
All these characteristics mean that dozens of varieties are cultivated and marketed in Spain. However, many of them are not sought after but rather are inherent to specific types that occur in particular areas, depending on their soil and climatic conditions.
If we go to the table apples that are primarily marketed in Spain, we have:
- Gala (along with the previous one, the most cultivated)
- Red delicious (one of the mothers of the Fuji, as we will now see)
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady (with a fairly aggressive marketing campaign has been established in our country).
There are other varieties, but they are hardly cultivated. We look at how none of them coincides with the types, such as the production of Asturian cider. Why? Market and production issues.
Characteristics of the Fuji apple
Although we may think that it is a new commercial variety, the truth is that its “discovery” took place in the 30s of the 20th century in Japan. Its definitive commercialization as such occurred in 1962.
Many people believe that the name refers to Mount Fuji, but the truth is that no. It is due to the city of Fujisaki, where it was discovered in a technological research centre. Since then, it has been the most consumed apple in Japan compared to other varieties.
The Fuji apple began as a variety. Originally it was a hybrid between two types in the US called Red delicious (the one from the Snow White stories) and Ralls Janet.
These are the parents of the Fuji apple. Still, today, it can no longer be considered a variety but a group of varieties with different characteristics and specific adaptations.
More than 20 varieties or clones of the Fuji apple have been hybridized to achieve different characteristics depending on the climate, soil, resistance to diseases, etc.
In the end, what interests us is how it tastes; that is why it is eaten. The characteristics of the Fuji apple are:
- Medium calibre rounded
- Smooth or ribbed red colour on very attractive yellowish-green
- Crispy and fresh in the bite
- Firm pulp texture
- Very juicy, therefore very refreshing
- Lovely and aromatic flavour (approximately 10% sugar)
- minimal acidity
Fuji apple cultivation in Spain
In general, the cultivation conditions of the apple tree, in general, can serve as a basis. Still, as we will see, the Fuji apple has some limiting factors compared to other varieties.
Apple trees are generally very hardy in soil conditions. They tolerate quite a few soil types, from fairly sandy to even somewhat heavy soils with higher concentrations of silt and clay.
They tolerate them and can grow without collapsing. Still, when we talk about maximizing production, likely, an optimal soil will always have a direct effect on said production.
Therefore, we can say that the apple tree requires loamy soil (like many crops), although we must not forget that it can grow in a wide range of soil textures.
Sometimes the land is what it is, what you have, and it is not always what you would like. It is usual for apple trees to tolerate slightly acidic soils about acidity. This is not the case with the Fuji apple. It has somewhat less tolerance, and its optimum soil pH is between 6 and 7.
Another point to be discussed. Although many apple trees can survive and thrive with little water, the Fuji apple is not the case. It is a variety that needs humid environments and somewhat more abundant irrigation than other national species such as the pippin.
Drip irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used techniques. Young growing trees generally need more watering frequencies.
Watering frequency will depend on the season of the year and soil drainage, but as a general guideline for a landscape tree, weekly watering is recommended. In high-performance productions, things should be much more controlled and adjusted.
Fuji apple production problems in Spain
Although it is highly appreciated by consumers for its freshness, juiciness and sweetness in terms of production, in Spain, the original Fuji apple variety does not adapt very well due to the climate and latitude in which our peninsula is located. The main problems that can hinder optimal production are:
- Sunstroke: It has to do mainly with a thermal excess in the fruit and, at the same time, hydric stress. And as we have mentioned, the Fuji apple needs more humid environments and somewhat more abundant irrigation than average, so suffering this damage to the fruit is more likely to occur. We have also already talked about heatstroke.
- Alternation or alternation: We have already discussed the nature of fruit trees in Agromática, and it is a real problem in productions such as cider, for example. In short, alternate bearing or alternation is the phenomenon by which fruit trees alternate strong harvests with years of little or no harvest. This alternation is proportional; one year has good production and the subsequent bad. The vector character is inherent in many species, such as stone fruit trees or the apple tree, and in the case of the Fuji apple, it is no exception.
- Not reaching optimal colouring: It is produced in warm climates, although some clones of the variety achieve colour in Spain without much effort.
- Need to choose early varieties to avoid autumn frosts
Fuji apple varieties that best adapt in Spain
In an IRTA analysis published by companies in 2018, a review of Spain’s most cultivated apple varieties and the varietals used are made. Here we show a small summary of what was extracted from the article.
The Fuji apples that grow best in Spain are those with a smooth color instead of the ribbed one because it has been seen that they have better color and better withstand the sun’s rays. Here are some more cultivated varieties in our country:
Fuji apple post-harvest conditions
But how long does the Fuji apple last off the tree? Post-harvest conservation techniques are a whole world so that, from the tree to your table, the fruit arrives in the best possible condition. At the right point of maturation.
It is unparalleled to have a fruit tree in your house. Go out the door and pick the fruit from the tree at its optimum ripening point. But in the world we live in, this is impossible, and post-harvest or post-harvest techniques try to maintain the conditions of the fruit until it reaches us.
In the case of the Fuji apple, we can enjoy them for an extended period in the year thanks to the conservation in chambers with controlled atmospheres, varying the levels of the gas mixture to leave the fruit in a kind of “lethargy”.
Remember that your cells are still “breathing.” In a study from a few years ago (1997) published by the USDA, the following conservation parameters were established to avoid changes in color and variations in the content of sugars, starch or acidity:
- 1.1ºC (34ºF)
- 1.5% O2
- CO2 at 1% maximum.
With these conditions, the Fuji apple is kept for months until consumed. And you, do you like the Fuji apple, or do you think we should grow native Spanish varieties and give them more of a market?
What are Fuji apples good for?
Firm, crisp, and juicy, Fuji apples are among the most popular apples for eating fresh, but they’re also great for baking, as they hold their shape when they cook.
What is the flavor of a Fuji apple?
sweet fuji apples are crisp and very juicy with a sugary-sweet flavor that resembles freshly-pressed apple juice. The interior of the apple boasts firm, creamy-white flesh that is fine-grained.
Are Fuji apples better than Honeycrisp?
Fuji: Crisp, firm, juicy, and sweet. Eating a Fuji is like eating candy! Honeycrisp: Last but not least, Honeycrisp apples are great for snacking. They are sweet and tart so it will make a more interesting experience than eating just a sweet apple, like the Fuji.
Are Fuji apples edible?
Fuji apple trees grow 15 to 20 feet wide with the same spread (4.5-6 m.). The fruits contain 10 to 18 percent sugar and are excellent for eating right off the tree, in pies, or sauce. … The apples are round, medium to large with yellowish-green skin often blushed with pink or red.
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Fuji Apples Information Facts Specialty Taste 2022