Mystery of the pink-tinged pomme

Pomme du Limousin
The pink tinge on the Limousin apple owes everything to the local climate

Jane Hanks reveals the production methods and ideal recipes for the famed Limousin ‘Golden’, a prize pick among French apples

Golden Delicious apples grown in the Limousin are the only apples in France to have the prestigious Appellation d’Origine Protégée, AOP label. They are grown by 200 producers in 2,300 hectares of orchards in an area covering 100 communes in Corrèze, Creuse, North Dordogne and Haute-Vienne.

They are picked by 5,000 seasonal workers every year in mid-September to October but keep well and can be found in the shops from November to September.

Apples are the favourite fruit in France accounting for 19.5% of the market, ahead of bananas at 13.3% and oranges at 13.2% and the favourite variety is Golden Delicious, accounting for 28% of sales, with Gala and Royal Gala next at 22%.

Golden Delicious arrived from the USA in the fifties and are grown throughout France, but they produce the best fruit in the orchards of the Limousin, which are at an altitude of between 300 and 500 metres high. The geographic situation and climate with sunny days and cold nights seems to suit the variety, and it was soon observed that the apples in the region were particularly delicious, sweet and crunchy. In 2005 the French government awarded them the label AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) which was a French label existing before the European label, AOP, which ...

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