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Papple, 2012

This is a new hybrid fruit, released in Sainsburys' stores in June 2012. The name suggests a cross between a pear and an apple, but this isn't the case. There are different pear species involved in its parentage, and all these species are involved in a multiple backcrossing. The outcome is a fruit called T109, bred by Plant and Food in New Zealand.

The first release was priced at 1 per fruit, but if popular, I guess this will drop to somewhere near 50p, like nectarines and peaches.

The flavour: the fruit has a strong aroma of pear. It is lighter in texture than a nashi pear but still quite firm; with the skin removed and wearing a blindfold one could mistake it for watermelon. It is extremely juicy, sweet flavoured, with none of the cloying sweetness of a nashi pear.

The core is very tiny, rather like a seedless apple, and in the two fruit which I sampled, there were no seeds. The shape is unusual; the dimpled end is at the opposite end to the stalk; there is no calyx.

PICTURES:

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ND, Diversity website, with acknowledgements to 'Dirk' in Germany.

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