BC Apple Varieties

British Columbia (B.C.) is the Canadian province just above Washington state. Many of the varieties of apples that grow in northern Washington will also grow in southern British Columbia. Although some varieties of apples may grow farther east, most British Columbia apple orchards are located around the Vancouver area, including some on Victoria Island.

Fuji

Fuji apples are sweet, juicy apples with crisp, firm, white flesh. A good dessert apple that works well in salads, the Fuji is also good for making sauces. The Fuji is a relatively recent import into North America, but its roots go back to Thomas Jefferson in 1793. The Fuji is a hybrid between the Rolls Janet and the red delicious. The skin on a Fuji ranges from light greenish-tinged pink to light red.

Golden Delicious

Golden delicious is a yellowish-gold apple that is good as a dessert apple, in salads, or used in pies, jams, preserves, sauces and butters. The skin on these apples can range from light green to creamy yellow. Yellow fruit are more ripe and usually sweeter. The more greenish fruit are often more tart. The flesh of a ripe golden delicious is firm.

Gala

Galas are native to New Zealand but have been grown in North America since the 1970s. Galas are very sweet, crisp and juicy when ripe. An excellent dessert apple, gala skins are yellowish pink with red stripes. Some varieties, however, may be almost completely red or more red on one side than another.

Macintosh

Macintosh apples are an older North American variety. They are good eaten fresh, as part of salads or used in cooking a number of dishes, including pies, jams, butters and sauces. Macintosh should feel solid and heavy. Don't test this apple's firmness with your thumb as it is easily bruised. The skin of a Macintosh is red and its flesh is a creamy white.

Jonathan

A Jonathan is a red-skinned apple with creamy white flesh. A ripe Jonathan will be firm and dense. Like Macintosh, Jonathans may be easily bruised if you use your thumb to check for firmness. The apple should feel solid and heavy when ripe.

Jonagold

Jonagold is a more modern hybrid. It is a cross between a Jonathan and a golden delicious. They don't store well so should be used quickly after harvest. They are very good in desserts, sauces, pies or eaten fresh as a dessert apple. They tend to soften during cold storage but are crisp and firm when fresh. The skin of the Jonagold is golden like a golden delicious.

Keywords: B.C. agriculture, B.C. fruit, Canadian agriculture

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Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.