BERN, SWITZERLAND – Galmac apples, which kick off the Swiss apple season, have been around since 1986 but the unusual Swiss summer weather of 2011 is causing them to ripen a full two weeks earlier than usual, just in time for the 1 August national holiday.
The apples, native to Switzerland, are a cross between Jerseymac and Gala and were developed by the Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW federal research station to meet Swiss growing conditions and market needs.
This is the first year they are widely available throughout Switzerland in time for the national holiday.
The apples are sweet but crisp and juicy and 200 tons of them are hitting the market this week. Some, for consumers lucky enough to find them, have a white cross on them.
The trees are increasingly replacing Summerreds, with 35 hectares planted nationally by 2015, says the federal agriculture department. The apples were designed to provide an early apple that is not as acidic as most on the market, in order to give Swiss consumers a local product. Most apples are on the market in August are imported.