Switzerland to fete national day with new 'Swiss' apple

28th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

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

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