Everything you wanted to know about the Cameo apple including what it tastes like, when it is in season, and what to do with them.
I have known about Cameo apples (sometimes referred to as American Cameo) for several years, but I keep missing reviewing them for the blog. But no anymore.
What is a Cameo Apple?
This late season apple that is among the most pretty was discovered as a chance seeding. It wasn't intentionally bred. It was found in an orchard in Dryden, Washington not far from Red Delicious and Golden Delicious trees. It is believed that these are the parents of this apple, but it has not been confirmed.
The apple is one of the most stunning. It has streaks of red, orange, and pink in it's skin.
When Are They In Season?
The apple is picked later in the season after it's likely parents, Golden and Red Delicious. As the tendency with later apples, Cameos store well and keep their crisp texture long after other apples have gone mealy.
So their season runs from October into the winter months.
Due to their similarity to Galas in appearance and sweetness, I know at least one farmer who stores them until they have sold out of Galas (which do not keep as well) for the season.
My Experience with this Apple
These apples can be a mixed bag, they aren't always as great tasting as they look. I got some really big ones recently they were just bland. I would opt for the smaller ones that have a nice sweet flavor, reminding me of Gala, but better.
Can You Cook or Bake With Them?
The sweetness of these apples make them a good choice for adding to homemade applesauce so that additional sugar is not needed. I think they are too sweet for baking with. Cameo are best for out of hand eating.
What Happened to Cameo Apples?
I have seen people searching for what happened to Cameo apples? They seem to have been growing in popularity but that seems to have come to a stop. Here in Michigan, I don't find them very easy to find. I think that might continue to be the case with big marketing campaigns behind apples like Opal and Cosmic Crisp.
The only place I seen them in the last few years is at a discount produce market.
Here are some apple related kitchen tools I recommend:
Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer : Allows you to slice apples into either 8 or 16 pieces
Zyliss Soft Skin Peeler : The best peeler I have ever owned. Does a great job peeling an apple.
Mirro Foley 2-Quart Stainless Steel Food Mill : A great tool for making your own applesauce. You can make the sauce without having to do any peeling.
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