JAZZ APPLE TREE
The Jazz apple has been bred primarily for selling in supermarkets. Let’s be clear about that, and the same cannot be said about most of the other apple varieties grown in the UK.
In fact the Jazz apple tree is known by another name, “the lawyer’s apple tree”. Sad but that’s the truth. The promoters of the brand are so protective of the name (just the name to be clear!) that no-one dares go near it.
In truth Jazz apples are “average” apples when grown, but transport them half way round the world (or keep them in refrigerated storage) and they turn into a below average apple. The hype and the appearance of the apples may lead you to believe otherwise but appearances are often deceptive.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JAZZ APPLE
First, you can’t buy a Jazz apple tree in the UK. If such a thing existed, it would be illegal for you to buy one. The owners of the Jazz apple tree name don’t want you to grow one in your garden or allotment and they have gone to great lengths to ensure you cannot do that.
The Jazz apple tree was first produced in New Zealand.
In fact, there is no such thing as a Jazz apple tree variety, that is total hype. There is an apple tree called Scifresh which is the true variety name, but Jazz sounds so much more …….. well, jazzy, compared to Scifresh doesn’t it? And with that in mind, you simply have to know that you are being sold a marketer’s dream with Jazz, because if they were telling it straight, they would tell you the truth, you are eating a Scifresh apple, it’s that simple.
Let’s face it, when you buy a Lord Lambourne apple tree, they don’t call it “Firework” or “EverSoTasty”, they tell you the truth, its a Lord Lambourne. Thank goodness for straight forward talking in some of the apple industry.
For Jazz apples, one very important aspect of their selling appeal is appearance. To get that rosy red colour and evenly shaped size they use various techniques. Below is a direct quote from the Jazz apple website which is very interesting as far as we are concerned:
“Q: Should I eat Jazz Apples along with the skin?
A: It is a good idea to eat Jazz Apples with their skin……… just remember to wash them thoroughly. A tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of baking soda can be added to a sinkful of water to make a good scrubbing solution. This can remove the wax and any pesticides which might be trapped underneath it.”
Wow! that’s worrying stuff! When I eat the apples from the trees in my garden I don’t go to the bother of creating a special “scrubbing solution”. I might rinse them in water but normally I simply pick an apple from the tree, have a quick look at it and then eat it! What are the producers doing to those apples to make them suggest they need to scrubbed in a special solution at home before the pesticides are removed and they are safe for you to eat?
CAN I GROW A JAZZ APPLE TREE IN THE UK?
No, Jazz apple trees are not sold to amateur gardeners in the UK or anywhere else in the world as far as we are aware. Even Scifresh (the true name for the Jazz apple) are not available for sale.
WHY DON’T SUPERMARKETS SELL SCIFRESH APPLES?
The company which markets Jazz apples do not sell under the name Scifresh, they prefer to market them under the more attractive name of Jazz. The two are, however, the same.
The parents of Jazz are Braeburn and Royal Gala. For those who want to know, crossing a Braeburn and Royal Gala is very extremely unlikely to result in an apple tree the same as Scifresh. Every time two varieties are crossed the results are different and unpredictable.
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF JAZZ
The apples are pinky-red on the sun side with more green on the shade side. They are of average size and roughly round shaped. The texture is normally moderately crunchy but this varies depending on where the apples are grown and how long they have been kept in storage.
Taste is subjective but in general the flavour is sugary. There is no balance of acid or other flavours. Raymond Blanc, the renowned chef has this to say about the flavour of Jazz apples:
“The Jazz and the Pink Lady are not great apples. They have been engineered on sweetness, shapes, colours and resistance to disease. But mostly sugar, sugar, sugar. It’s wrong. That’s not the definition of a good food. We are addicted to sugar and the retailers know it”. The full article in the Daily Mail can be found here where Raymond Blanc goes on to describe the flavour as a “mono-flavour”.
Disease resistance and pollination partners are rather irrelevant for this apple tree variety because you have no chance of growing them. However, see the note about pesticides used in the growing of Jazz apple trees here.
The full list of apple tree varieties which we have reviewed is listed below. Select any one of them and then click the “More Information” button to be taken to the in depth review:
ALTERNATIVES TO JAZZ APPLES
There are many alternatives to Jazz apples which grow exceptionally well in the UK and taste at least as good in many cases, better. If you are looking for a crisp, sweet apple variety which looks similar we would suggest three specific eating varieties:
Fiesta – very well suited to the UK climate, far more disease resistant, exceptional flavour and a white, crispy and juicy flesh. A top rated balance of sweetness and acidity.
Katy – one of the best looking apples of all time, rosy red all over. Crisp and slightly sweet, lots of background flavours, these are smallish apples which kids love. Can also be used as an excellent cooker.
Worcester Pearmain – Another multi-purpose apple for eating and cooking as well as juice. White, crisp flesh and very tasty. A good choice, not only for open ground, but also containers.