Fuji apples are the sweetest apples in the world. They’re the most popular apple variety in all of Japan. Their crisp, refreshing flavor is a favorite all over the world, making them one of the best apple varieties for snacking. Here you’ll learn all about Fuji apples, from what they taste like to how to grow them.
Where Fuji Apples Came From
What do you think of as Japan’s most significant contribution to food worldwide? Some might say sushi, sashimi, or another well-known Japanese dish. However, the Fuji apple has made an undeniable mark on the world. The Fuji apple variety was developed in Fujisaki, Japan, in the late 1930s. It’s third only to the Gala apple and Red Delicious variety in the United States. Fuji apples have come to be appreciated as some of the best sweet apples around.
Researchers at Tohoku Research Station crossed the Red Delicious and Ralls Janet apple. The Red Delicious is a mild apple with very red skin that is parent to many popular apple strains today. Ralls Janet apples are less well-known but tend to be crisp, sweet, green-and-pink fruit. When the two were cross-pollinated, the Fuji apple came to be: an incredibly sweet, crisp apple with red or pink skin.
Those at Tohoku Research Station studied the strain of apple for some time before releasing it to the world. Fuji apples became one of the most popular varieties in Japan in the 1960s and has remained a favorite to this day. The apple became an American staple sometime in the 1980s. The variety has continued to soar in popularity all over the world.
What Fuji Apples Taste Like
The Fuji apple is the sweetest of the sweet. Brix is a measure of the sugar content in an apple. It’s the percentage of sugar that is in the fruit juice. Fuji apples have 15-18 Brix, which means their juice is up to 18% sugar. That’s one sweet apple!
Fujis are low in acid. They have a slight tartness to offset all that sugary sweetness. Fuji apples also have very firm and crisp flesh. They give off quite the crunch when you bite into them. Out of all apple varieties, Fuji apples may be the best option for snacking due to their pleasant texture and sweet flavor.
The taste of Fuji apples is somewhat like that of Ralls Janet and Red Delicious. It’s got the tart crunchiness of a Ralls Janet. It also puts its sweet foot forward just like the Red Delicious. However, they have slightly more flavor complexity than either of their parent apples. You’ll taste notes such as honey, citrus, and pear in a Fuji apple.
Fuji apples have a taste and texture very similar to the Asian Pear, but the apples are slightly more crisp and tart. They’re one of the most refreshing apple varieties. That’s why they remain some of the most popular fruit in the United States and Japan.
What to Use Fuji Apples For
Fuji apples are one of the best apple varieties to eat fresh. They work great for baking and cooking as well. However, the sweet and crisp flesh makes Fuji apples an incredibly refreshing snack.
Fuji apples make excellent apple juice or cider. Because they have such a high sugar content, they make a deliciously sweet juice. Fujis are one of the best fruit varieties to juice with tart cherries or cranberries. Tart fruit juice provides a balanced contrast to the sweetness of the apple juice.
Due to their firm flesh, Fuji apples also hold their shape well when baked. That makes them a great option for dishes such as apple pie or baked apples. If you can’t find Fuji apples, substitute another firm and sweet variety such as Gala or Pink Lady. Try using Fuji apples in these baking recipes.
- Caramel Apples
- New York Apple Pie
- Fuji Apple Crisp
- Dutch Apple Bread
- Japanese Fuji Apple Salad
- Fuji Applesauce
- Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Oatmeal
- Fried Apples
Where to Get Fuji Apples
Fuji apples are a low chill apple. That means they don’t need as many cool days and nights to flower and bear fruit as other varieties. They can survive in warmer climates such as those of South America and Asia. However, they aren’t a cold-hardy apple and are often shipped to the colder parts of the United States and Canada.
Most of the United State’s Fuji crop comes out of New York or in the valleys of Washington. Most of Japan’s Fuji apples come out of the Aomori Prefecture. That’s where the Fuji apple was originally developed.
If you live in Japan, New York, or Washington State there’s a good chance you can find fresh Fuji apples at a farmer’s market or orchard near you. If not, they’re likely at the nearest grocery store. You can also order them online. Fuji apples are such a worldwide staple that it’s not too difficult to find them.
Fuji apples store well for 1-2 months when refrigerated. However, they can store for up to 6 months if kept around 38 degrees Fahrenheit with very high humidity. This is difficult to attain most of the time, but if you live in a humid area you may be able to keep Fuji apples for longer.
How to Grow Fuji Apples
Fuji apple trees don’t grow well in very cold regions. However, if you live in a moderate climate, there’s a good chance you can grow a Fuji apple tree. Like Gala apples, they tend to do best in the United States growing zones 4 through 8, or areas with fairly mild winters. Fuji trees are some of the more low-maintenance apple varieties.
Even for experienced growers, it can be difficult to grow Fuji trees from seed. The young plants are easily trampled and susceptible to overly cold or hot weather. Instead, consider buying a seedling that will have a better chance at survival.
Fuji trees grow 15-20 feet tall. They’re a low chill apple variety but do best in full sun and well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Fuji trees are moderately susceptible to fire blight and apple scab, but these diseases can usually be prevented with fungicides and careful attention for early warning signs.
You should prune your Fuji trees when they are young and then as needed until full maturity. Be sure to thin the trees on occasion so that they can produce high-quality apples. The trees bear fruit after about four or five years. In the United States, the fruit will be ripe around between mid-October and early November.
Fun Facts About Fuji Apples
Fuji apples are related perhaps the most well-known apple varieties of all time. They’re not descended from a traditional Japanese apple variety. Rather, they are the offspring of the famous Red Delicious and the Ralls Janet. Ralls Janet has a role in American history as well: they were cultivated by Thomas Jefferson at his home Monticello. The researchers at Tohoku research station were the first to put the two varieties together.
Some people think that Fuji apples are named after the famous Mount Fuji in Japan. While that’s a good guess, it’s not the case. The name actually came from the city of Fujisaki where the variety was developed. Fuji apples are grown in Fujisaki to this day.
Fuji apples are a world-wide favorite for their incredible sweet flavor. Plus, they’re a great choice to grow in your home orchard. Next time you’re looking for a delicious snack, try a Fuji apple.