Black food isn’t typically considered appetizing, but the mysterious Black Diamond apple has me intrigued, and more than willing to bite into it.
Commonly apples are seen in hues of red, green and yellow, so it’s hard to wrap my head around a version of the fruit with a waxy, ebony exterior. But, apparently these rare fruity gems are not only beautiful but delicious as well!
Unfortunately, these apples are currently only grown in the mountains of Tibet. The Black Diamond apples are a breed of Chinese Red Delicious who can attribute their unique, dark purple color from the geographical conditions in the area they are grown. Chinese company Dandong Tianluo Sheng Nong E-Commerce Trade Company has an elevation of nearly 2 miles above sea level, making it the perfect location to grow these apples. The temperature difference between day and night and the amount of sunlight the apple trees get are crucial to achieving the near-black skin and snow white pulp.
Even though the Black Diamond apples are grown in Asia, they are hard to find. If you’re lucky enough to find one at a high-end market it will cost you a pretty penny. Roughly $7-$20 per apple, reportedly.
Since chances of me making that trip anytime soon are slim to none, I’ll settle for the next best thing….an Arkansas Black. The apple grown in the American South shares a close resemblance with the Black Diamond, though the taste is slightly different. The Black Diamond boasts a sweet, crisp bite (so they say), while the Arkansas Black is tart when it is first picked. If you’re patient enough to wait, the Arkansas variety will turn sweeter “with notes of honey, vanilla and almond” with proper storage.
The Arkansas Black was first grown in the Natural State in the 1800s. It can be stored in a cellar for months, and the apple’s waxy skin will protect it from spoiling.
When in season, Arkansas Black apples can be purchased at small orchards and farmers markets. If you don’t live in the south, you can buy them directly from growers. Heck, you could even plant your own tree!
As a baker, I’d love to get my hands on a pile of Black Diamonds or Arkansas Blacks. I imagine they would make a stunning (and delicious!) pie. Or, I could swap the peaches for apples in Paula Deen’s famous peach cobbler recipe.
What would you make with black apples? Let me know in the comments. Learn more about black apples in the video below.
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