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A new apple variety is now coming out of an Ontario orchard. Here's what it tastes like

The Snowflake apple is the newest apple variety to hit the produce aisle in Ontario. (Courtesy of Algoma Orchards) The Snowflake apple is the newest apple variety to hit the produce aisle in Ontario. (Courtesy of Algoma Orchards)
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Step aside, Honeycrisp. There’s a new apple in town, and it comes right from an orchard in Ontario.

Introducing the Snowflake, a white-speckled apple with rosy-red skin that one of the orchard’s founders says has a complex yet distinctive flavour: crisp, juicy, with an initial sharpness that’s quickly undercut with a sweet tanginess.

The new apple variety hit the produce aisle at select Loblaws and Walmart stores in the province in October, though it took about two decades for it to get there.

But, according to Kirk Kemp, this isn't too long considering the years it takes to consistently grow the apples and negotiate a licence agreement, as well as southern Ontario's cooler and damper conditions.

Kemp, one of the founders of Algoma Orchards in Newcastle, Ont. who grow and market the Snowflake apple, said it all started when he visited Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Summerland Research and Development Centre in B.C. to look for some new varieties.

“They let me get down into their research storage unit, where they had like 100 different varieties down there. They were just numbered varieties, so nowhere near commercialization, and I found five apples … that I thought looked nice and tasted good,” Kemp told CTV News Toronto.

Algoma Orchards planted five trees when they returned to start, Kemp said. As the apples started to grow, Kemp said that’s when they noticed something unique about them.

“Apples have what they call lenticels and if you look closely, the next time you look at an apple, they have a lot of light little dots on them. It’s almost like your hair follicles on your skin,” Kemp explained. “And these lenticels were distinctively white.”

Which is how this particular apple earned its name. Kemp said a field worker was the one to draw the comparison that it looked “like a snowflake.”

Starting at five trees to now 50,000 in the ground, Kemp said there is currently only enough to sell in Ontario but they hope that in a few years they can sell from coast to coast in the country.

And, there may even be more unique varieties to come out of Algoma Orchards in the years to come.

“We’re working on a couple more right now,” Kemp said. “We’re still at the very infant stage, but we got two or three more on the go.” 

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