Tree nursery Frank P Matthews Ltd of Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire has received a large order for an unusual dessert apple variety named ‘Rosette’.
The family-run business, which produces more than 500,000 fruit and ornamental trees every year, now has high hopes for the variety, which so far is only sold in a handful of Tesco stores. The Discovery-type apple is an early, sweet variety and has been so named because of the pink-speckled, rosette pattern in its flesh. The nursery believes that one of its most exceptional qualities is the fact that the apple produces red-coloured juice, which it displayed to visitors at last year’s National Fruit Show.
Stephanie Dunn James of Frank P Matthews Ltd said: “Rosette is not very well known at the moment, but we’ve just had a big order from one of the UK’s main growers for planting in two years’ time. We brought along some of its naturally red apple juice to the National Fruit Show and we got very good feedback from it. It was made entirely from the juice of Rosette. There’s no apple juice like it. It looks impressive and tastes good and no-one makes the juice at the moment.”
The variety was discovered by chance some ten years ago in an orchard in Worcestershire. Frank P Matthews Ltd has now had the variety in production for some four years. It has supplied some of the trees to Farmcare in Herefordshire, whose Rosette apples were first sold in selected Tesco stores in 2013. Tesco sells the apple under the name “Apple Rosette Raspberry Ripple”, due to the fact that it has a slight, raspberry-like taste. Stephanie Dunn James added that the nursery will have trees available for the winter of 2015/16.