Opal apples are medium to large, round fruit—they may weigh up to 14 ounces. They have an almost iridescent, lemon-yellow skin and slight russeting at the stem. This apple has a soft yet crisp, cream-colored flesh with a sweet taste and a slightly tart finish. The taste has been compared to the Honey Crisp, with hints of pear, coconut, and banana. Opal apples generally look more like their Topaz parent, but owe their sweet flavor and crisp texture to the Golden Delicious.
Opal apples are available from late winter to spring.
The Opal apple (botanical name Malus domestica) is a European variety, and is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz apple. The Opal is distributed by FirstFruits Marketing in the United States. This is a different variety than an English apple also called Opal, which was developed in the 1930s.
Apples are a healthy snack or addition to meals. They have around 100 calories each, and contain important nutrients such as Vitamin C and dietary fiber, along with smaller amounts of Vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
Opal apples do not oxidize when exposed to the air; thus they do not brown and make excellent additions to salads. Their crisp texture holds up well in pies and tarts and is a nice addition to cakes and muffins, but is best used as a fresh eating apple. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three months.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are controversial varieties of fruits, vegetables, and grains whose genes have been modified to grow or taste better. Opal apples are specifically non-GMO, verified by the Non-GMO Project in North America and compliant with Non-GMO Standards. Opal apples stand apart for another reason as well. In the US, some proceeds from the sale of the Opal apple are used for community programs, such as creating and maintaining community gardens in local underserved communities.