Start of new year gets a lot sweeter with Ambrosia™ apples

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(NAPS)—What can kick off any season better than the arrival of fresh, juicy apples. This year, more than 14 billion apples will be handpicked in Central Washington, the sweeping landscape where the Columbia River flows through the Cascade Mountains. With the sun shining more than 300 days of the year, conditions are perfect for apple growing, and have given rise to the most talked-about new apple variety, Ambrosia™ apples.

(NAPS)—What can kick off any season better than the arrival of fresh, juicy apples. This year, more than 14 billion apples will be handpicked in Central Washington, the sweeping landscape where the Columbia River flows through the Cascade Mountains. With the sun shining more than 300 days of the year, conditions are perfect for apple growing, and have given rise to the most talked-about new apple variety, Ambrosia™ apples.

With a name that means “Food of the Gods,” Ambrosia apples live up to their name by offering a naturally sweet, honeyed flavor and crisp texture that consistently performs well in taste tests. Ambrosia apples even had a shining Hollywood moment earlier this year: They were the only fresh produce item to be included in the “Everybody Wins at the Oscars®” nominee gift baskets, gifted to Oscar hopefuls in the Academy Awards’ major categories. In a subsequent review of the gift baskets, USA Today lauded the apples as a “simple pleasure.”

A Top 10 Variety

In 2015, Ambrosia apples had the strongest sales growth of all apples and are now one of the top 10 apple varieties sold in the United States. Supported by strong shopper demand, Ambrosia orchards in Washington state are likely to double or even triple production over the next decade.

“The demand for Ambrosia apples has really been outstanding,” said Steve Lutz, Vice President of Marketing for Columbia Marketing International, one of Washington state’s largest growers of premium apples. “They are such a universally appealing apple and they are quickly building a loyal following as more people discover just how good they taste.”

Top-Notch Quality

Ambrosia apples are harvested at the peak of maturity based on starch and sugar levels. This ensures that the apples will have a robust, sweet flavor and meet the highest quality standards.

Ambrosia apples are:

•  Naturally sweet: Ambrosia has a distinct honeyed and slightly perfumed flavor. They are one of the most flavorful apples in today’s market and are perfect for eating out of hand.

•  Crisp and juicy: Ambrosia’s flesh is tender and juicy with a very fine, crisp texture. Taste comparisons have shown that even tart apple fans are won over by Ambrosia’s juiciness and crunchy texture.

•  Slow to turn brown: Ambrosia apples are slow to oxidize, which means they don’t turn brown as quickly as other apples when sliced. This makes them ideal for lunchboxes, salads and fruit plates.

From Orchard to Market

Thanks to the careful tending of the McDougall family, which has been growing fruit in the Columbia River Valley of Washington state for more than a century, Ambrosia apples are now available in 14,000 major supermarkets nationwide, as well as many independent stores.

Most supermarkets carry Washington-grown Ambrosia apples from October through March. During the spring and summer months, Ambrosias are often imported into the United States from Chile and New Zealand, offering year-round availability.

Ambrosia Apple Sandwiches

Perfect for snacking, baking or enjoying with wine and cheese, Ambrosia apples are incredibly versatile with their creamy flesh and sweet, honeylike flavor. Looking to freshen up your snack routine? These breadless Ambrosia Apple Sandwiches are both simple and nourishing.

Simply core an Ambrosia apple and slice it into 10 rings, each about a quarter-inch thick. On five of the Ambrosia rings, top with a hearty smear of peanut butter, a sprinkling of granola and a few raisins. Then cover with the remaining five Ambrosia rings to make apple sandwiches.

For More Information

For more information and recipes, visit www.mysweetambrosia.com.