Morrisons are selling supersized British Braeburn apples after unusual weather conditions surprised farmers with a crop of giants.
Unusual late frosts across the UK in April meant fewer apples grew, with as much as 10 per cent of the British Braeburn crop being affected.
However, farmers were amazed to find that the reduced crop had grown to more than twice the size and weight of the norm.
Weighing in at an average of 450g each, the giant apples dwarf the typical Braeburn at 170g, and will be the biggest apple Morrisons has sold in living memory.
Morrisons, British farming’s biggest single customer, has decided to take the giant-sized crop from their British growers with 120,000 available over the next fortnight.
British Braeburns are typically picked in the autumn months and require three weeks’ rest at chilled temperatures to sweeten.
This year’s giant crop is a result of the latest UK frost for almost 20 years. The cold April stopped apple trees from flowering fully, limiting the pollination essential for fruit growth. However, favourable conditions later in the growing season gave a nutrient boost to the remaining apples which had got off to an early start, allowing them to grow to their giant size.
Mark Booth, apple expert at Morrisons, said: “Ideal for snacking, sharing or baking, these giant British Braeburn apples offer great value to our family customers. Our relationship with our growers meant we were able to take the whole crop from our apple farmers and ensure these huge but delicious apples are eaten.”
Melvyn Newman, from Howfield Farm, Chartham Kent said. “This year’s frost caught lots of growers by surprise. Over a third of our Braeburns this year are a much bigger size and with a smaller crop overall, it would have been heartbreaking to leave oversized fruit on the trees when they are just as tasty and with better colour.”
British Braeburns are one of over 50 varieties of apple available in 491 Morrisons stores nationwide and the second most popular accounting for 17 per cent of apples sold over the year. Gala apples top the nation’s favourites at 25 per cent with crisp and sweet Pink Lady apples coming in third at 11 per cent.
The supersized British Braeburn apples are available in store and are priced at £1 for a twin pack.