5th October marks the start of the 2020 Great British apple season with supermarkets well stocked with home-grown varieties.
It’s been a challenging season for British apple and pear farmers, with fluctuating weather conditions and the continuing impact of COVID-19, but this year’s apple harvest is expected to be especially delicious.
In 2020, a staggering 1.6 billion apples and pears (183,000 tonnes) will be picked by hand in British orchards. And, according to the organisation that represents British growers, British Apples & Pears Limited (BAPL), it’s Britain’s hard-working farmers and our unique maritime climate that makes our apples and pears the best tasting in the world.
Celebrity chef, Raymond Blanc, is passionate about British apples and agrees that apples grown in Britain are amongst the finest in the world.
Chef Blanc’s dedication to British apples led him to plant his own orchard of 2,500 trees in the grounds of his two Michelin Star restaurant and hotel, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.
What’s more, Chef Blanc’s latest book ‘The Lost Orchard’, reveals the process of his creating this orchard and reconnecting with some incredible British varieties along the way.
Raymond Blanc will be working alongside British apple and pear growers to fuel consumer excitement about this year’s crop and cement the UK’s position as the greatest apple nation in the world.
Chef Blanc says, “For me, some of the greatest tasting apples in the world are British. The start of the season gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase British apples and pears and to talk about the fantastic varieties available right here on our doorstep.
I am extremely proud to be working alongside British growers. When we remind people of just how wonderful the humble British apple is, I know everyone will be as excited about British apples as I am.”
Ali Capper, chief executive of BAPL says, “Britain is the greatest apple nation in the world. We have the perfect combination of the ideal maritime climate, centuries of orchard experience and a commitment to innovation that enables our apple and pear varieties to flourish – delivering delicious healthy, home-grown fruit for everyone to enjoy. With the weather challenges this year, it may not be the biggest harvest we’ve ever had, but it will certainly be one of the best tasting.”
Capper adds, “Chef Blanc is a true titan of Britain’s food scene and the perfect person to remind us all that a British apple a day not only delivers us great health benefits, but it’s supporting British farmers too.”
The new apple and pear season is the perfect time to enjoy our home-grown fruit and change our lockdown snacking habits for the better. At less than 80 calories each, fibre-rich apples are great for our gut health and are one of the best fruits to protect us from heart attacks and strokes. They are the ideal snacking alternative to our usual sugary treats.