Image of Cameo Apple, Large

Cameo apples have stormed onto the apples scene in the last few years, and with good reason - the taste! While this apple still isn't easy to find, it is well worth the search.

Scientific Binomial Name: Malus pumila

SELECTION INFORMATION
Usage

The Cameo is best when eaten out of hand, but is also good for cooking - especially soon after harvest when it retains some tart hints to its otherwise sweet character.

Selection

Good-quality Cameo apples will be firm with smooth, clean skin and have good color for the variety.

Test the firmness of the apple by holding it in the palm of your hand. (Do not push with your thumb). It should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light.

Avoid

Avoid product with soft or dark spots.

If the apple skin wrinkles when you rub your thumb across it, the apple has probably been in cold storage too long or has not been kept cool.

Storage

To store, keep apples as cold as possible in the refrigerator.

Apples do not freeze until the temperature drops to 28.5°F.

Ripening

Apples won't ripen further after being picked. Some apples will convert their starches into sugar after being picked, but this is known as "curing", and is best achieved by leaving fruit in the refrigerator - never sitting at room temperature.

  • Nutritional Information
  • Apples are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They're also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.

  • Tips & Trivia
  • Rub cut apples with lemon juice to keep slices and wedges creamy white for hours.

    Store apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator away from strong-odored foods such as cabbage or onions to prevent flavor transfer.

    The Cameo variety first caught the attention of apple grower Darrel Caudle, near Wenatchee, Washington in the 1980s. Darrel thought he had planted a Red Delicious tree, but as the tree grew, the apples were different from all the others in his orchard. One taste of the red-and-cream-striped fruit and Darrel knew he had found something very special. The tree is what is called a "chance seedling" meaning it grew unaided from a seed that carried a unique combination of genes from unknown parents. Today, all Cameo trees are descended from Darrel's first chance seedling which is still producing fruit in his hillside orchard.

    The history of apple consumption dates from Stone Age cultivation in areas we now know as Austria and Switzerland. In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage; catching it was acceptance.

    Folk hero Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) did indeed spread the cultivation of apples in the United States. He knew enough about apples, however, so that he did not distribute seeds, because apples do not grow true from seeds. Instead, he established nurseries in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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