Endangered apples: help save Britain’s rare varieties

Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt. Or, in the case of the humble apple, perhaps benign indifference, having previously been pipped to the post in the popularity stakes by exotic Amazonian berries and trendy Japanese citrus.

Although we still buy 482,000 tonnes of apples a year, just two varieties, gala and braeburn, both natives of New Zealand, make up almost half of British sales. That leaves the 2,198 other varieties we produce out in the cold. The apple is a uniquely diverse family because, left to its own devices, every seed would grow into its own distinctive fruit.

Gloriously, according to the National Fruit Collection, this means you could eat a different homegrown apple every day for six years and still not have sampled all the country has to offer (though you would be forgiven for fancying a banana instead).  and read more …


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