VALENTINE'S Day is just one day of the year but apple lovers have something new to embrace for far longer.
The Smitten apple is a blend of Gala, Braeburn, Falstaff and Fiesta varieties that was bred in New Zealand about 15 years ago.
According to apple growers, the Fankhausers, it’s a perfect early season apple that is “hard as an apple should be”.
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“While a lot of the galas coming on the market now are a bit soft the Smitten has just the right crunch, just as an apple should be,” Brad Fankhauser said.
It had been a great growing season with flavour and colour now coming into the apples.
The Fankhausers have only been in production of the Smitten apples for two years, with a five-year tree lead-up.
The Smitten crop is expecting to increase by 20,000 cartons this season.
According to Montague, as industry innovators, the company continues to invest in the research and development of new apple brands.
"In its third season, Smitten represents the company’s latest success, and is already a firm favourite amongst consumers looking for a refreshing summer apple treat," it said in a statement.
Coles business category manager of fresh produce, Daniel Corrigan, said the supermarket was excited to once again work alongside long-time suppliers Montague, to offer the apple variety to its customers.
“We hope they’ll be as smitten with the sweet crunch of this special apple as we are," Mr Corrigan said.