Cameo apples, formerly known as Carousel apples, were discovered by chance by the Caudle family in their Dryden, Washington orchard in 1987. Their parentage is uncertain although it’s likely that they are a cross between a Red Delicious and a Golden Delicious, since they were first found near orchards of those fruits. This explains its shape as well as its red-and-yellow skin, which is thicker than the Golden Delicious but thinner than the Red. Cameo apples are now found growing in apple growing regions throughout the United States but the bulk of what is available commercially comes out of Washington State.
Cameos have quickly grown in popularity. Sweet with just a touch of tart, their flesh is dense and creamy white to yellow in color with a crisp and juicy texture.
Cameo apples are sodium and cholesterol free and rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. They also contain a fair amount of potassium and vitamin C as well as some iron, vitamin A and calcium. A recent study of the newest apple varieties conducted at the University of Bonn revealed that Cameo apples contained the highest amount of antioxidants of all thirty-one apples studied.
Cameo apples can be used in both sweet and savory applications. Their resistance to browning when cut makes them a choice apple for preparation where they will be eaten raw, such as on sandwiches, in salads, as an edible garnish or on cheese boards.
Try substituting Cameos for Goldens in baking and cooking recipes. Cameo’s sweet flavor is enhanced in cooked preparations. Add chopped Cameo to quiche, polenta and cobblers. Their dense flesh holds up extremely well when cooked. Try topping a pizza with sliced Cameo, use as a chunky filling for pastries or hollow out and stuff to make baked apples. Cameo apples pair well with squash, bacon, pears and flavorful cheeses such goat, cheddar and ricotta.
We’ve provided a wonderful cake recipe which shows off Cameos to their best. See the recipe here!