It's that time of year again--UBC Botanical Garden's biggest event of the year will occur this weekend, the UBC Apple Festival. This year, we'll have 20 000 kilograms (44 000 lbs.) of apples available for sale, from approximately seventy different cultivars. One particular highlight of this year's Apple Festival will be the announcement of the cultivar name for Malus SPA493, as this hybrid transitions from breeding and testing to becoming the newest apple cultivar in Canadian commercial production.
Malus 'Rubinette' will also be available for both tasting and purchase. This cultivar was developed by Walter Hauenstein of Switzerland. It was first introduced in 1964 and has since become a commercial crop in Switzerland. Hauenstein bred Malus 'Rubinette' from a cross of Malus 'Golden Delicious' and Malus 'Cox's Orange Pippin'. I photographed this particular apple because of the attractive striping, but that isn't necessarily a consistent feature of the cultivar--colouration can be splotchy or uniform. However, what it might lack in consistent beauty, it makes up for with intense flavour. The folks at OrangePippin.com call it "Probably the best-tasting apple in the world".