You’ve heard of forbidden fruit, I’m sure. But have you ever heard of the Black Diamond Apple?
While it’s not necessarily ‘forbidden’, the name itself implies only a small part of the (black?) magic that these apples possess.
What Is A Black Diamond Apple?
The Black Diamond Apple is a rare variety from the family of Hua Niu apples. This particular family is also known as the Red Delicious, so I’m sure you’re familiar.
Me particularly, i don’t like Red Delicious apples. I find them to be too soft, and also lacking in any particular flavour. In other words, I find them kind of bland and boring.
The Black Diamond Apple is anything but.
Also known as The Tibetan Apple The name itself is actually a little bit misleading because the apple itself isn’t black. The Black Diamond Apple is actually a deep shade of purple.
I bet I can guess what you’re thinking: Does the darker skin bring more nutrition to this apple? Not necessarily. Apples themselves — the regular, more common ones — are already super nutritious. Not only are they high in fibre, they’re also anti-inflammatory and high in flavonoids.
The dark hue of the Tibetan Apple does not actually mean that it’s higher in nutritional value. However, it is much higher in price!
These rare apples are only sold in specialty supermarkets in Asia. A price for just one of them is between $7 and $20 USD.
The Black Diamond Apple: What’s With the Colour?
These beautiful, rare apples owe their colour to their native hometown in Nyingchi. This small city in the mountains of Tibet receives a lot of ultraviolet light during the day.
However, the temperature fluctuates dramatically at night, which causes the skin to develop a deep, dark purple hue. Because of this, it’s often mistaken for black. Apparently marketers liked that, and went with it.
The flesh inside, however, it a very different story. There are videos online of people opening these apples to reveal a bright white (and sometimes an incredible yellow) inside.
What Does a Black Diamond Apple Taste Like?
A Black Diamond Apple, also known as The Tibetan Apple is said to be the crispiest apple in the world. In addition to this, it’s also sweeter than any other apple, if you can imagine.
The flavour is said to be more than twice as sweet as honey. Because these apples are prepared in such a careful and time consuming way, it’s hard to find anything in nature to replace them.
They’re sweet, and they’re crispy. So they basically sound like the perfect apple. Perhaps that’s why they’re about a million times more expensive than other apples you’d find at the grocery store.
Black Diamond Apple vs. the Arkansas Black Apple
If you won’t be near China or Tibet anytime soon, the United States has its own darker breed of apple. Known as the Arkansas Black, this apple is not super dark. They are deeper in colour than a standard Red Delicious, and would make the kids scream at a Snow White-themed party for sure.
If you’re wondering why the dark, mysterious Arkansas Black isn’t stacked among the Fujis and Galas in the supermarket, you’re not alone.
The Arkanasas Black apple is very particular. In other words, you have to store it in order for it to taste good. And that needs to be done properly. It takes a long time to develop those flavours.
Arkansas Black apples are traditionally picked in the fall, which is when most other apples are harvested. Right off the tree, they are quite tart. However, after being stored for several months, they develop a sweet taste. In addition to this, their hard flesh softens up making them much more enjoyable.
Because of this, there is significant time required as an investment to grow these apples. Believe it or not, around 70% of the annual Black Diamond and Arkansas Black crop doesn’t make it to market. Farmers generally don’t like growing these unusual hybrids because it takes five to eight years to get to fruit.
Technically, they are unproven in the international commercial market.
Where Can I Buy a Black Diamond Apple?
The Black Diamond Apple, or the Arkansas Black, are available for purchase. Finding them, however, is a much different story. You’re much more likely to find an Arkansas Black than you are to find the Tibetan black apple.
Because these rare apples are not grown in orchards in the States, you probably won’t find them in the produce section at Trader Joe’s. The Arkansas Black, however is not as hard to find and is listed on several websites in the area.
Your best bet, however, would be to hike up through some mountain orchards in the mountainous region of Tibet.