Switzerland to fete national day with new 'Swiss' apple
Switzerland will celebrate its founding this year with its own new apple species, the Galmac, adding a new twist to William Tell's mythical apple-shot which indirectly led to Swiss independence.
According to the ministry of agriculture, the apple "with a bright luminous skin, crispy, juicy and with a harmonious and refreshing taste", will for the first time be comercially available nationwide.
Crucially, it will also ripen just before the August 1 national holiday.
Swiss agriculture ministry scientist Danilo Christen told AFP that the apple, a cross between the Gala and Jerseymac apples, had been designed to reduce imports as it ripens earlier.
However, the August 1 date was more of a marketing gimmick, he confessed.
According to legend, William Tell was ordered to shoot an apple with a crossbow off his son's head as punishment for refusing to bow to a Habsburg overlord.
He managed the feat then killed the governor.
The ministry of agriculture added that some of the apples would be marked with a Swiss cross, "a small wink to August 1."
© 2011 AFP