U.S.: Oscar nominees entitled to Opal apples for remainder of the season
Opal apples have gone from the "lunch bag to the swag bag", according to the variety's North American distributor FirstFruits Marketing, forming part of this year's "Everyone Wins" nominee gift bags handed out at the Oscars.
On Hollywood's biggest night the bags were given to nominees in the major acting and directing categories, who will receive a sample box of Opal apples and a gift certificate they can redeem for an annual supply of Opals delivered monthly while they’re in season.
The current season is expected to run through June.
"Their star power is the way they won’t brown after cutting," said FirstFruits Marketing general manager Chuck Zeutenhorst in a release.
"Opal apples possess a naturally slow oxidation rate, so these Washington State-grown non-GMO apples won’t brown after slicing.
"That makes them a perfect lunch snack and a superior choice for salads and party plates calling for pre-sliced apples."
Available in both conventional and organic varieties, Opals are known for their distinctive crunch, sweet yet tangy flavor and natural resistance to oxidation – making them the perfect apple for snacking, lunchboxes and fresh spring recipes.
With increasing hectares of the variety planted, FirstFruits Marketing expects "geometric growth" for production of Opal apples, bred by the late Dr. Jaroslav Tupy of the Czech Institute of Experimental Botany (IEB).
The apple comes from another variety bred by Tupy, the rather tart Topaz which has some popularity in Europe, crossed with the more common Golden Delicious.
While Golden Delicious' popularity has slumped worldwide, newer premium golden varieties like Opal and Japanese-bred Shinano Gold (marketed under the brand 'Yello', a name coined by the Italian cooperative groups VOG and VI.P) show promise for a category revamp.