Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) has announced that as a result of the ban being lifted on the import of NZ apples, [our local] growers will take the unprecedented step of branding locally grown fruit with an ‘Aussie Apples’ sticker.
“The new stickers will offer shoppers reassurance that they are buying our delicious Aussie Apples and by doing so supporting local growers, their families and regional communities across Australia,” according to John Lawrenson, Chairman of APAL.
Interestingly, Royal Gala and Gala, the two mainstream varieties of early season apples, were introduced into Australia in the early 1980s. The Gala varieties originated in New Zealand in 1934 as the result of a cross between Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious.
This week Biosecurity Australia (a unit of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) gave the all clear for New Zealand apples to be imported to Australia for the first time in 90 years. As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Biosecurity Australia is obliged under Agreements to consider all import requests from other countries, just as other member countries are obliged to consider Australia's requests.
However, Australian apple growers are concerned that the bacterial disease fireblight will enter the country under the new import rules. “Frankly, once New Zealand apples start coming into Australia, farmers will be nervous just getting out of bed in the morning because they will be wondering if today is the day they discover fire blight in their orchard”, John Lawrenson is quoted to have said.
If you'd like to support Australian apple growers, shop at your local farmer's market or select supermarket apples with the Aussie Apples label.
MY FAVOURITE APPLE CAKE RECIPE
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
11/2 cups brown sugar, well packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
2 apples, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, extra
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
icing sugar, (for dusting)
Grease and flour (or line) a 20 cm round cake tin. Place all of the ingredients, except the icing sugar, into a large mixing bowl and mix with a heavy spatula until well combined. Beat with an electric mixer for approximately 3 minutes.
Spread mixture evenly into the prepared tin; sprinkle the extra walnuts and vanilla sugar over the top. Bake in a preheated moderate oven at 180 degrees C for 50 minutes, until the cake springs back lightly when touched. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack. When cold, dust generously with icing sugar. Store cake in an airtight container.
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
4 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples
light oil for frying
caster sugar for dusting
To prepare the batter, combine the flour, sugar and eggs in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Peel and carefully core the apples. Slice into thin (5mm) rings. Heat the oil (you will need enough oil to come up to approx. 1.5 cm in the fry pan). Working quickly, dip the slices of apple in the batter mixture and fry in hot oil until golden, turning if necessary. Drain well on paper towelling, sprinkle with caster sugar and serve immediately. Serves 4.
What are your thoughts on the import of apples and other fruits from overseas? Have your say.
Good Things in season and ripe for the market basket each month.