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Brand new apple variety unveiled at Apple Fest

For all you apple lovers out there, there’s a brand new apple on the market that gives a whole new meaning to good old home baked Mom’s apple pie.

It’s call the “Salish.” Although for the past 30 years in the scientific community it’s been lovingly referred to as the SPA493. The apple was developed and tested by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists, in partnership with the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation.

The new apple was developed using traditional cross-pollination methods and originated from a cross between Splendour and Gala cultivars made in 1981 at AAFC’s Pacific Agri Food Research Center in Summerland, BC.

The new Salish Apple was unveiled Saturday the 13th at the UBC botanical gardens as part of the 21st annual Apple Festival.

Past years have seen as many as 20,000 people attend the Apple Festival event, and although there didn’t appear to be 20,000 attendee’s this year, people were out in droves despite the first heavy winds and rains of our fall season.

The Honorable Ron Cannan revealed the name of the newest apple on the market. “This is a delicious example of government and industry working together to deliver new market opportunities to our farmers,” said Cannan,  “When you taste the Salish apple here today, you are sampling the sweet rewards of many years of research and investments in innovation that will pay off for the farmers that grow this tasty achievement.”

And tasty they are, so tasty in fact that after I bite into my first apple and had bought a couple for family and friends, I went back and purchased a full bag!

Although I am ordinarily a granny smith apple fan I definitely now have two favourite apples that I will make the mainstay of my apple purchasing experience.

The Salish apple was incredibly tasty! It was a combination of a slight tangy sensation, and a very firm and juicy apple. There are over 420 varieties of apples and as a result most grocery stores and markets attempt to offer a selection of the most popular varieties of apples that offer both long shelf life, a taste sensation and colourful appeal. This selection must also be good for cooking, baking and eating raw.

Can you imagine if a grocer was expected to showcase over 400 varieties of apples in their produce section, it would be impossible!      

Luckily for us apple lovers, there is a tasty new fruit sensation on the market that is available in a variety of places including Choices Market, Four Seasons Farms, select locations of MarketPlace IGA, the # 1 Orchard, Urban Fare and Whole Foods Market.

What I didn’t realize about the significance of introducing new apple varieties is that it helps Canadian tree fruit growers expand production and gives them a competitive edge in markets around the world. The commercialization of new apple varieties also boosts the economy by expanding domestic production and increasing exports of tree fruit products.      

The Salish is named for the Canadian Interior language of Thompson, Okanagan-Colville, and Shuswap.

Limited quantities of the Salish will be available for sale at select stores in Greater Vancouver and Kelowna this fall. Check out for a list of retailers and be sure to go and buy a bag and check them out for yourself.

In addition to enjoying the Salish apple being showcased, the apple festival in general was great fun. Despite the rain and wind which coincidentally stopped just in time for the unveiling at 1 p.m. a lot of people stepped out for the day in their boots, raincoats and umbrellas to enjoy the various food treats on hand from some of Vancouver’s finest food vendors.

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