The Gold Standard: Exploring Opal Apples

Gala. Red Delicious. Granny Smith. These may be the first names that come to mind when you think of “apples.” We’d like to recommend a new name to the pantheon of produce greats. Opal. These new kids on the block are special for their truly unique flavor, plus the environmentally friendly practices and socially conscious mindset of exclusive US grower, Broetje Orchards. Without a doubt, Opal apples are poised to take the throne.

Stay Fresh

Perhaps one of the most amazing things about Opal apples is that they do not brown after cutting. This isn’t due to added chemicals; in fact, it’s a wholly natural process. Opals are actually a crossbreed between Golden Delicious and Topaz, and were first introduced to the US market in 2010. Their non-browning qualities make these apples a particularly good choice for chefs who like to do more prep work ahead of time, or those who have little ones at home who may not take kindly to browning apples.

Apple Of My Eye

The sunshine yellow exterior of Opals is immediately striking, but the flavor is what will keep you coming back. Sweet, yet with a tangy undercurrent, opals are typically in high demand for their versatility both in savory and sweet dishes. In terms of aroma, you’ll pick up floral notes as you bite into the juicy, crunchy exterior. With a seasonality ranging from November through June, be sure to pick up Opals when you see them, as they are grown in limited acreage.

Loving Hands

Broetje Orchards, located in southeastern Washington State, know their apples. With over 10,000 acres, they’re one of the largest privately apple orchards in the US, and have been for the past 35 years. Using this knowledge and experience, Broetje has been able to acquire the first non-GMO project verification for a U.S. apple variety. As they are the only farm that grows Opals in the states, you can rest easy knowing that any Opal you find is GMO-free.

Giving Back

With an eye towards charitable giving since their foundation, Broetje Orchards uses Opals to help local communities. Their “Opal® Apple Youth Make a Difference” initiative ships 27 pound cases of apples to kids who volunteer in their local communities! The initiative is both holistic and sustainable, as the children served work for projects that are agriculture or nutrition focused. The initiative has paid off too, as they shipped a grand total of 1,190 cases of Opal apples in 2018!

Main Ingredient

Aside from enjoying them out’ve hand, you can use opal apples for a variety of dishes. Try substituting Opals for dishes that call for a sweeter variety, such as Honeycrisp. The tangy undercurrent also makes Opals a killer addition to savory dishes. We’d recommend pairing them with chicken or pork, while focusing on a mix of flavors!