Fuji apples are not the prettiest apples around – they’re not ugly like the lumpy mishapen Calville Blanc d’Hiver but more of a plain Jane type of apple. The skin is dull and they’re a nondescript apple colour. But as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover – these apples are much more than their outward appearance.
The Fuji is the offspring of the Red Delicious and a Rall’s Janet – both American apples. Red Delicious are fairly common here in New Zealand but Rall’s Jenet seems to be an American only variety. The Orange Pippin Tree Register has only 4 trees, all of which are in the United States. The Rall’s Janet goes by at least 30 other names and alternative spellings and a search under each of these names could well turn up a wider spread of this apple variety. However, this post is all about the Fuji not one of its parents. Before leaving the Rall’s Janet, a quick look at the Orange Pippin images shows that the Fuji get’s its looks from the RJ rather than the RD (a red delicious is quite a handsome apple).
A Fuji has a thick skin and dense crisp and juicy flesh. It is also a good keeper. As to the flavour – it has been described as the apple that does not taste like apple. Descriptions also include hints of honey and citrus. I found it to be quite appley tasting although I didn’t pick up any citrus hints in my particular apple. The honey-ish flavour I can agree with. I ate my apple chilled and I have found that the temperature of the apple does affect the flavours that shine through.
One would expect that, with a name such as Fuji, that this is a Japanese apple. However, while the parents are all-American, the Fuji was created in at the Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, Japan (hence, the name). Fuji is up there as far as popularity goes – it is one of the most popular apples in Japan and America. In New Zealand, it is widely available and marketed by Enza, Yummy & Mr Apple.
Primarily an eating apple, Fuji are also good to cook with. I haven’t made any recipes with Fuji as yet – we have two types of apples in the fridge. Eating apples and cooking apples – I get in big trouble if I use the wrong type in my cooking. Sturmer apples aren’t as nice as Fuji to eat fresh.
If I could snaffle a few Fuji to cook with, these are there recipes I’d make first: