California based grocer Fresh & Easy has introduced a Private Brand organic applesauce made from the heirloom Gravenstein apple. The Gravenstein apple is a delicate thing – it is more difficult to harvest than its cousin, the Red Delicious, and grows exclusively in Sonoma County, Calif. by just 6 commercial growers on under 1000 acres of land. This apple ripens throughout the apple harvest season, often ripening first in late July. The Sebastopol Gravenstein Apple Presidium even describes the apple as “extremely delicate and perishable.”
The Gravenstein’s flavor, though, is not so delicate – described as “old-fashioned” and “full-bodied”, the Gravenstein apple brings wonderful flavor and texture as an ingredient – making it a perfect apple for us to make into our delicious new organic apple sauce! fresh&easy Gravenstein Organic Apple Sauce captures the apple at its peak of flavor, a juicy sweet/tart taste that will tickle your tastebuds.
In recent years, the Gravenstein apple has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as people re-discover this heirloom fruit. The Slow Food organization has designated the Gravenstein a special Ark of Taste food. The Gravenstein was first farmed in California over 100 years ago, but was first introduced as a variety much earlier in the 17th century in Denmark.
Retailers love to talk about local and regional products as well as differentiation – I love this kind of product because it truly provides both.