Contributed by Kenny Phang.
In collaboration with Defy Media.
Last week, INTERFEL (Interbranch Association for Fresh French Fruit and Vegetables) relaunched its campaign in Malaysia after the pandemic to promote France’s global standing. INTERFEL also aims to raise awareness of the French growers’ commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
To Introduce the quality, and diversity of the French varieties, and the process of responsible farming, INTERFEL hosted a media event that took place on 15 December with a culinary demonstration led by Chef Patrick Siau, professor at Sunway University’s School of Hospitality Service Management and Malaysia Pastry Team Coach of the winning “World Pastry Champion” in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, and recipient of the Vase de Sèvres prize, awarded by the President of the French Republic for “Best Dégustation”.
The focus was on these 4 varieties of French apples:
- Bright green colour and well-rounded shape. The skin is shiny, crispy & firm.
- Distinct citrus taste with tart & refreshing flesh. The juicy flesh also has a herbal scent.
- Their white flesh does not turn brown when exposed to air, perfect as snacks or add them to salads.
- Striated skin that combines shades of red & yellow.
- The flesh is sweet & yellow, with a juicy & crispy texture that has a touch of sourness.
- Fruity aroma that reminds one of bananas & pears, making it particularly sweet & enjoyable.
- Perfect for use in pies or when baked.
- This new variety is a hybrid of the Ariane and Fuji varieties.
- It has a smooth red skin & is sweet, aromatic, crunchy & juicy with a white & luscious flesh.
- It is harvested in September.
- Kissabel is a new variety with a pink or red flesh.
- It has a unique taste with hints of berry for an exceptional eating experience.
- It is a healthy apple full of antioxidants.
Due to the diverse climates and geographical advantages in France, the country produces large quantities of high-quality apples. Among the thousands of apple varieties worldwide, nearly 100 flourish in French orchards, with around 30 cultivated on a large scale. Some of the most commonly available varieties in Malaysia include Royal Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady®, Kissabel®, Pixie®, Candine®, and the Juliet®. These varieties will be available in major retailers, such as Aeon and Lotus from December 2023 – March 2024.
France’s orchards have been graced with exceptional weather during spring and summer, promising a harvest of apples that are not just colourful, but also irresistibly crisp, beautiful and delicious. Anticipate a plentiful yield, with France set to produce 1.5 million tonnes, making an 8% increase from the previous year. While the overall European harvest is expected to be smaller at 11 million tonnes, France proudly secures its place as the third largest apple producer in Europe, following Poland and Italy.
Beyond the abundance, INTERFEL is dedicated to promoting sustainability and eco-friendly practices among French growers.
For over 20 years, French apple growers have embraced an eco-responsible production process, dedicated to cultivating healthy, flavourful, and high-quality fruits. Their commitment extends beyond mere cultivation; it involves the implementation of environmentally friendly methods that preserve orchard biodiversity and maintain the economic equilibrium of fruit farms. Sustainability, for these growers, transcends the orchards. It encompasses comprehensive practices, including efficient waste management, biocontrol techniques, and thoughtful pollination methods. This holistic approach underscores their dedication to delivering exceptional fruits and safeguarding the environment for generations to come.
In a remarkable initiative, nearly 1,300 French apple growers, certified as “Eco-friendly orchards” have dedicated themselves to a noble cause to cultivate French Apples that are not only rich in taste but also environmentally friendly and healthy.
As you can guess from the name of this dessert, Granny Smith apples are used (sliced) & placed on top of this milk chocolate & pecan nut cookie. The recipe is relatively simple as having sliced apples on top is a great idea.
The recipe for Chilled Caramelised Apple is a little more complicated but what a beautiful dessert this is. It will definitely impress your family/guests if you are throwing a party. This one uses Candine Apples which are cut into cubes and poached in a syrup by combining water and sugar until the texture of the apples is soft.
Pomme De Jardin is my favourite dessert of the 3 showcased as it not only looks beautiful, it’s also unique & delicious. It uses stewed Royal Gala Apples and for garnish, the pink hued Kissable Apples which are shaped into balls.