APPLE juice firm Maynard House Orchards has returned to its roots for the launch of its latest variety of flavour.
It was 1924 that dessert apple Kidd’s orange red was created by James Hutton Kidd in New Zealand after he crossed the Cox’s orange pippin with the red delicious.
The hybird apple was then discovered seven years later by Frederick Williamson, who is the grandfather of Clive Williamson, the owner of Maynard House Orchards, based in Bradfield Combust.
“My grandfather brought Kidd’s orange red back to Britain in 1931 as he felt that the flavour of the fruit was exceptional,” said Mr Williamson.
“Once he returned to the UK he bought his first 30 acres of orchard in Langham, Essex.”
Fifty years on, tFrederick Williamson’s company, Williamson Fruit Farms Ltd, had stretched as far as Bury St Edmunds and grew two per cent of all of Britain’s apples.
Today, the company still grows apples but has downsized the size of its operation to concentrate on its juice production.
It is still a family firm with Clive responsible for juice production, sales and marketing, while his brother Paul farms the apple orchards.
The family hosts an apple celebration every autumn ahead of the harvest – last year they planted Kidd’s orange red saplings.
Despite its New Zealand roots, Mr Williamson said the apple was thriving at Bradfield Combust because the soil conditions were perfect for growing small, high flavoured fruit such as Kidd’s orange red.
Now Maynard House Orchards has started selling its 240ml bottles of Kidd’s orange red to luxury restaurants, hotels and bars across the UK.
It had only previously been available at The Fat Duck at Bray.
“This variety is very important to the Maynard House Orchards heritage,” said Mr Williamson.
“We will have capacity for around 4,000 bottles of Kidd’s orange red and we plan to plant more of our specially bred saplings in the coming years when the climate and soils are perfectly right for new growth.
“The planting of Kidd’s Orange Red tree will not only continue as an honoured family legacy but it also really does make a truly exceptional tasting apple juice variety.”
The apples are described as redder in colour than Cox’s and produce a sweeter, deeper flavour.
The new juice is the latest in the line from Maynard House Orchards, which won gold in the Great Taste awards last year.
Maynard House Orchards also makes apple and raspberry, apple and elderflower, and Cox and Bramley juices.
It says the juices make an interesting non-alcoholic alternative to wine and beer when eating with food.
The range of juices are accredited with Safe And Local Supplier Approval (Salsa) and the company has won six first prizes over the last 10 years at the National Fruit Show.
It has also been a winner of the Quality Food Awards and last year won two highly acclaimed Great Taste Gold two star awards.
For more, visit www.applejuice.co.uk
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