Sure, pumpkins are cool and all, but apples are hands-down one of the best parts about fall. With all the different varieties to pick from—pun intended!—one trip to the orchard could have you set for nearly the entire season. When you do venture out this year, just make sure to keep your eyes open for Opal apples, a type that doesn’t brown.
Opal apples haven’t been around for too long. The cross between the Topaz and Golden Delicious apples was originally discovered in the Czech Republic in 1999 then hit the United States in 2010. Five years later, it finally started to be widely distributed. But unlike all the other types at the grocery store, you won’t notice any browning after slicing one up due to its genetic makeup.
“Different varieties of apples have different amounts of polyphenol oxidase, which is the compound that releases the enzyme that causes browning. Just through sheer luck in the breeding process, the Opal has a low rate of that particular chemical.”
“Different varieties of apples have different amounts of a chemical called polyphenol oxidase, which is the compound that releases the enzyme that causes browning,” Paul Esvelt, FirstFruits Marketing’s director of operations, tells me. “Just through sheer luck in the breeding process, the Opal actually has a low rate of that particular chemical. It still does brown eventually, but it browns really, really slowly.”
A non-browning, non-GMO apple already sounds like a dream come true. What makes Opal apples even better, though, is the sweet taste and crispy texture. Like, what more could you want? Luckily, you can get your hands on them soon: They’re available from October to July, giving you months of fruity bliss.