Gelato Cola Apple

Ark of taste
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Gelato Cola Apple

Of the 14 ancient varieties of apples once cultivated on the slopes of Mt. Etna, today there are only four left: cola, gelato, gelato cola, and cirino.

Among the indigenous cultivars of Mt. Etna, the gelato cola is the most widespread and eaten: today there are specialized orchards for it in several towns: Zafferana Etnea, Biancavilla, Ragalna, Adrano, Santa Maria di Licodia, Pedara, Nicolosi, Trecastagni. It seems that this apple comes from the spontaneous cross-culture of cola and gelato apples, and that the new cultivar was first noticed in Giarrita-Petralia, near Sant’Alfio. From there this fruit quickly spread thanks to its interesting traits: delicious flavor, speed of growth, productivity, larger size compared to the cola apple, and an intense aroma. The tree is incredibly vigorous and has an open canopy of elliptical, medium-sized leaves with toothed edges and a medium length stem. The flowers, which bloom at the end of April, have oval shaped, white petals with slight shades of pink. The fruit is small, cone shaped and has a short, somewhat thick stalk; the peel is yellow-green with spots, and rarely has a slight shade of pink at harvest, while the fruit becomes a creamy yellow color when ripe. The pulp is white, mealy, juicy, sweet, and has an intense aroma. The apples are harvested at the end of October and by November they are ready to eat. When conserved in a refrigerator they can be sold up until spring. Gelato Cola apples are mainly eaten fresh.

This apple risks disappearing because since the 1970s the development of specialized facilities, along with the introduction of the red delicious variety, which is more popular than local varieties due to its size and color, have caused the sudden abandonment of local fruit cultivations, especially on Mt. Etna.

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Territory

StateItaly
Region

Sicily