Apple plus grape equals grapple

The Guardian:

The endlessly inventive world of fruit and veg has come up with a new ingredient just in time for Christmas dinner — the grapple, which attempts to combine the tastes and other virtues of apples and grapes.

Large red specimens first imported for American servicemen and women at airfields in Eastern England earlier this year have proved the season’s hit with local shoppers outside the bases, after a consignment was arranged for a supermarket in the county of Norfolk.

The grapple was patented two years ago in Washington state, nicknamed apple country in the US, by a family of growers who have experimented with apple breeds for the past 98 years. Using a secret process, mature examples of the Washington State Extra Fancy Fuji apple are immersed for several days in a marinade which transforms their flavour to that of a Concord grape.

The process follows similar fruity “marriages”, such as the accidental crossing of a pomelo fruit from the East Indies with a Jamaican orange in 1693, which gave the world the grapefruit. The grapple also owes something to the fortuitous interbreeding of blackberries with a raspberry by Judge JH Logan in 1880s California, producing the loganberry. The grapple has been successfully marketed in the US as a weapon in the country’s fight against obesity, particularly in children. Its inventors, the Snyder family of Wenatchee, Washington, have had some success in arguing that traditional resistance to apples has been eroded because children prefer the taste of grapes.

Grapples keep the other attributes of apples, according to the supermarket Roy’s of Wroxham, in Norfolk, which started England’s current experiment with the new fruit. Staff who tested the first consignment said that the soaking had permeated the fruit’s skin but left the crisp texture intact.

The nectarine is a hybrid of the peach and plum. It is hugely popular, though its own offspring, when crossed again with a peach, has fared less well. Who eats peacharines? The pluot is also seldom seen in fruit bowls although it worked very well horticulturally. A cross between a plum and an apricot, it has mostly plum characteristics in its shape and smooth skin The plumcot is a similar hybrid but with less of the plum in its parentage. This gives it a plum’s shape but an apricot’s skin. Its counterpart in this particular world is the aprium, more apricot than plum and bigger and yellower than the plumcot All three mixtures, like the Grapple, are noted for strong sweet flavours and were also hybridised in the United States.