The expert replies

This section gives you all the answers to the questions most frequently asked of Melinda by consumers, clients and friends, divided into 4 different themes. 

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Check out the other info sections or write directly to info@melinda.it  and we will reply as soon as possible.

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GENERAL INFORMATION
MARKETING
QUALITY
SALES

How can I recognise an original Melinda apple?

To be certain that an apples is really a Melinda, you need to first of all check whether it has our sticker and, in particular, that there is no adhesive on the tab-lift (the little tab to the right or left of the sticker itself that helps you pull it off easily and dispose of it in the waste bin for plastics before you eat the apple). This detail is difficult to produce and therefore difficult to imitate. Almost all the stickers used on other apples or other fruit in fact have a tab that looks to be there to aid removal, but this tab is glued to the fruit in the same way as the sticker itself and therefore of no use at all as it must be lifted up with a fingernail, whereas the tab on our stickers is non-adhesive and therefore easier to use. We opted for this solution, decidedly more complicated than those that cover both the sticker and the tab with glue, in order to provide yet another small service to those people who decide to spend their money well in order to put top quality Italian foods on their table.

Can I eat the apple without peeling it?

Melinda apples leave our packaging plants in Val di Non ready to be eaten complete with their peel. However, they obviously then have to be transported to their place of distribution and are often handled by several people along the way. In shops they are then inevitably exposed to the external environment before being eaten. This is why we recommend carefully washing them before eating without peeling. This can be done quite simply under running water. Washing is not needed if the apples are eaten after peeling.

Why is there sometimes a difference in quality between the same Melinda apples that I buy?

This difference could be due to different factors but in particular it depends on how fresh the product is, due to the differences in turnover of the apples in the sales points where you do your shopping.

When does the new apple season begin? When are they available from?

Picking starts in September through to the end of October, according to the different ripening times of the various apple varieties. These will then generally be available on the market until June/July, with Golden apples, the best apple for storage, available until August/September of the following year. Check out the dedicated sections for the different picking times and availability of each specific apple variety.

Why do Golden apples sometimes have red stripes (areas) on parts of their surfaces? Is this is a different variety of apple or a defect?

It is neither a different variety nor a defect. When Golden apples are grown in especially suitable mountain areas they may develop what in the business is called a “pink blush”. Melinda Golden apples are grown in Val di Non and therefore often develop this “pink blush”. It is a sign of high quality. It appears on Melinda Golden apples as the combined result of the big difference in temperature between day and night, the dew that forms on the surface of the fruit during nights in late summer-early autumn and the sun that “kisses” the fruit during the cloudless mornings so typical of this time of year.

I would be interested in working as a picker during the apple harvest. What should I do? Who should I contact?

The Melinda Consortium has more than 4,000 fruit-farming members and each of these has their own independent organisation for picking the apples. As a Consortium, we cannot therefore directly hire people. To search for farms requiring fruit pickers, we suggest you call the job centre in Cles, the main town in the valley, on +39 0463/421372.

What is a Melasì?

It is a Melinda apple that from an aesthetic point of view has not reached the standards laid down by the self-regulatory guidelines that would earn it the famous Melinda sticker. The Melinda sticker is in fact only stuck onto apples in Extra and 1a categories. Melasì are, for example, apples that have suffered slight hail damage. These could have been Melinda apples, but just a few minutes of hail damaged them externally. It is purely a question of appearance: their production methods, internal quality and flavour are the same as those of Melinda apples. An opportunity not to be missed! In a social-economic situation such as the current one, when almost all we hear is that prices are rising, it is easy to come across low-price offers that however sacrifice a lot of other important aspects of the product. Melasì counters this trend as it is a high-quality product at a good value price. To find out more, visit www.melasi.it

What does the DOP marking mean?

D.O.P. = Denominazione di Origine Protetta (PDO in English, standing for Protected Designation of Origin). This is a marking attributed by the European Community to identify a farm product or foodstuff from a certain area whose quality is due essentially or exclusively to the special conditions in its geographical zone of production. These include both natural and human factors typical of the location and for which each stage in the production cycle (for example, cultivation, storage, selection, packaging, any processing, etc.) takes place in this delimited geographic area. To date, Golden, Renetta and Red Delicious apples in categories 1a and Extra from Val di Non are the only apples to have received DOP marking from the European Community.

What does product non-compliant for DOP certification mean?

On some Melinda packs, easy to recognise because they are brown instead of white, the following words can be found: “Product non-compliant for DOP certification”. These are still 100% Melinda Consortium apples, but, despite having slight defects in their appearance and therefore not qualifying even for category 1a classification, during the packaging process they accidentally received a Melinda-DOP Mela Val di Non sticker, which can only be applied to apples that are not only grown in Val di Non but qualify at least for category 1a classification. Removing the sticker once it has been applied would call for unsustainable operations and therefore, during the final inspection of the packs before they leave the packaging line, these incorrectly stickered apples are identified by the inspectors and put into packs of a different colour that bear the words “Product non-compliant for DOP certification”, precisely to make it perfectly obvious to everyone that although these apples have stickers, they are not 100% DOP.