A new hybrid fruit could be hitting Australian supermarket shelves today.
The unusual fruit, known as a ‘papple’ and manufactured in New Zealand, is essentially a pear disguised as an apple.
A tip to a Melbourne radio station implied that the ‘papple’ hybrid would be available in Australian stores on Wednesday in response to its success since 2012 in the UK.
It follows a succession of previous fruit variations, including the grapple, boysenberry, orangelo and pineberry to name a few.
The papple (pictured) transitions from green into red as it ripens
The fruit was successfully created in New Zealand, before being distributed in the UK in 2012
David Karp, a food writer for the Los Angeles Times, told readers ‘preview samples were superb, looking and tasting like no other fruit.’
‘It has taken three generations of crosses over several decades for the New Zealand breeders to come up with promising new varieties with just the right mix of fruit qualities along with the productivity, long storage and shelf life, and attractive appearance necessary for commercialization.’
Despite its name and look, the papple has no relation to the apple family, and is a hybrid of two European pears researches at the New Zealand Plant and Food Research Program bred and began experimenting with in 1996.
It is hoped that it will become a lasting and popular staple in supermarket shelves, as an alternative or addition to the current pears on the market. It joins other hybrid fruits that have hit the market in recent years with succes, including the grapple and pineberry.
The grapple was developed in Washington and crunches with the texture of a regular apple, but tastes like a grape.
The pineberry, a white fruit that tasted like a pineapple but looked similar to a white strawberry, first debuted on shelves in 2011.
Woolworths is yet to comment on whether the papple will be available on their shelves, after the caller to Melbourne station 3AW with Tom Elliot confidently assured listeners that the ‘fresh food people’ would be stocking the fruit.
The University of Osnabruek in Germany has a tree carrying the hybrid fruit in a greenhouse