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Grower in the pink with new apples
2:50pm Monday 8th October 2012 in News
A RARE variety of red-fleshed apple cultivated in Worcestershire has gone on sale to UK shoppers for the first time.
Named Raspberry Ripple to reflect their unusual appearance, the apples are being sold at three branches of Tesco in London and could be introduced across a wider area next year.
The naturally-occurring variety was discovered by chance growing in an orchard near Hereford nine years ago and has been developed by Tenbury-based fruit tree nursery Frank Matthews Ltd.
The nursery was contacted almost a decade ago by a local grower who informed it he had an extremely rare red-fleshed apple. Cuttings were then grafted on to rootstock to create an initial batch of 100 trees.
The red flesh is consistent in apples from each of the trees, which are said to produce fruit with a hint of the flavour of raspberries.
Frank Matthews’ owner Nick Dunne said: “When I first saw the red flesh I thought right away that this could be big news in the apple industry and that has been borne out by the interest we are now getting from growers around the country.
“Tesco will have the first batch to ever go on sale in the UK and we hope that if they are well received by shoppers that we could establish the variety as a top seller very soon.”