Sensual, seductive, delicious: this is what an apple represents. It symbolises paradise, and that’s probably why it tastes so good. With its red cheeks, the apple is our favourite fruit, and it’s at home along the Lower Rhine. You just have to grab it and bite into it.
Elstar, Braeburn, Gala: these are the most sought-after varieties of apple along the Lower Rhine. But many old varieties of apple are also represented in the region between the Rhine and Meuse rivers. Such as the Sterappel, Berlepsch or the Rheinischer Bohnapfel. Just over ten percent of apples harvested in Germany come from the Lower Rhine. It thereby ranks among the top cultivation regions in Germany.
The apples taste exceptionally aromatic – sour or sweet, delicate or tangy. Check it out and discover your personal favourites in the Lower Rhine. Many varieties are not only suitable for fresh consumption but are also ideal for cooking or baking, such as the James Grieve or Delbarestivale. And of course, they are processed into delicious, vitamin-rich apple juice, which you can enjoy in farm cafés, restaurants or from the growers.
The first harvest usually begins in mid-July, and apples with a long shelf life like Braeburn and Topaz are picked in October. There is therefore not only a large selection available, but also fresh goods almost all year round. Straight from the tree to the shops. Regional fruit and veg, as direct as possible from the grower, stands for freshness, transparency and short transport routes. This preserves jobs, ensures safe local supply of foodstuffs – and is kinder on the climate.
Incidentally, the apple is the undisputed favourite fruit of the Germans. The per capita consumption of fresh apples in Germany is 18.5 kilograms per year – or around 61 apples. And at the Lower Rhine, there’s even an ‘Apple City’ with its own apple queen.
The recipe: Classic apple sauce
Apple sauce is part of the traditional Lower Rhine dish called ‘Himmel un Ähd’ (meaning ‘heaven and earth’). But it’s also very good with potato pancakes and as a tasty dessert – and is also loved by children.
It is very simple to prepare: peel, core and cut sweet and sour apples into small pieces. Put the apple pieces in a pot of water with a little lemon juice and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for around 20 minutes until the apples are soft. Allow the compote to cool and purée finely with a fork or blender. According to personal taste, you can add a dash of cinnamon.
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