‘Intensely aromatic’ apple named Swiss Fruit of the Year

The robust foliage of the Niederhelfenschwil Beeri apple tree is well suited to extensive orcharding Fructus

The rare Niederhelfenschwil Beeri apple has been chosen as fruit variety of the year. The apples stand out because of their “beautiful colour and intense aroma” and are excellent for making cider, according to Fructus, the association for the promotion of old fruit varieties.

This content was published on February 8, 2022 minutes

Only a few isolated trees still exist, nurtured by “committed farmers”, Fructus said in a statementExternal link on Tuesday. But thanks to local initiatives the variety from canton St Gallen in northeastern Switzerland is now returning to orchards.

The Niederhelfenschwil Beeri apple gets its name from a municipality in St Gallen and its strawberry-coloured appearance. The trees grow “rather stubbornly and weakly”, according to Fructus, but the foliage is robust and not very susceptible to fungal diseases, making it well suited to extensive orcharding.

The flesh of the Niederhelfenschwil Beeri apple is firm, juicy and has an intense aroma Fructus

“The flesh is firm, juicy and has an intense aroma. In the first few weeks after harvesting the Beeri apple is a fruity, tangy dessert apple that is easy to store and use in the kitchen. The flesh remains firm and, when cooked with the skin, takes on a pale pink colour,” said Fructus.

Every year the organisation focuses on a special variety of fruit, tells its story, describes its characteristics and highlights its potential.

It said the Niederhelfenschwil Beeri apple was representative of the large number of local fruit varieties that despite their good qualities never make it beyond their region.

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