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Made In Ontario: The Red Prince Apple

One of the most common questions we get asked is: What is Ontario food? With our new series, Made In Ontario, we�re spotlighting the treasures, tastes and traditions that make up our fledgling food culture.

Follow along and share your additions with #MadeInOntario!

Volume VIII: Red Prince Apples

Red apple clipartThe Canadian Red Prince apple is a delicious and versatile type of apple grown exclusively in Thornbury, Ontario.  The name ‘Red Prince’ is both a nod to the apple’s brilliant red skin, and to Mr. Princer, the Dutch farmer who discovered the strain in 1994 on his property in Weert, Netherlands.

The Botden family of the Red Prince Apple emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands in 2001, where they ran a small orchard. After deciding to uproot their lives (and their apples) for Grey County living, they secured rights to the Red Prince breed, and remain the sole Canadian producers of this special Dutch strain.  If you’ve eaten a Red Prince apple in Canada, you have literally enjoyed the fruits of the Irma and Marius Botden’s labour!

Although picked every year during the typical Fall harvest, the apples require resting or aging in a cold cellar before eating — this process helps develop and richen the apple’s flavours, and also means that you can enjoy Red Princes’ peak flavour and freshness throughout Winter and Summer. We really (really) like them apples!

Where to find them: The Botden’s Red Prince apples can be found in Ontario and across Canada at most major grocery stores, and along the award winning Blue Mountain Apple Pie Trail!

How to eat them: anything goes, but we just might swap a classic pumpkin pie for a Red Prince apple crumble this Thanksgiving — yummm!

What’s Special About Red Prince Apples?

The Red Prince came to be through chance seeding: completely unintended and natural cross-breeding between plant species.  In fact, they are the unintended cross between Golden Delicious and Red Jonathan apples, and Red Prince Apple is the first and only orchard to bring this strain to Canada. Tastiest. Fluke. Ever.