The Mela Val di Non PDO refers to the fresh apple belonging to the Malus communis Lam. species, deriving from the Golden Delicious, Renetta Canada and Red Delicious varieties.
The production area of Mela Val di Non PDO is within parts of the Autonomous Province of Trento.
The adopted growing systems are pieno vento and fusetto. Traditional production techniques involve turfing the soil between the rows during the productive cycle of the trees, and mowing the grass in the spring and summer months. Pruning must be done annually by hand, during the rest period of the tree, and must guarantee the right balance between the fruit buds and the strength of the branches. Only through the appropriate management of pruning and thinning is it possible to control the production amount. Irrigation is indispensable in order to ensure a quality product and is carried out when needed from March to October. The fruits are picked exclusively by hand in the months of August, September and October, right up until the first fortnight of November, depending on the ripening period of the variety.
Appearance and Flavour
The Golden Delicious or Red Delicious varieties of Mela Val di Non PDO have an elongated truncated-cone shape, and the Renetta Canada variety has a truncated-cone or flattened shape. The Golden Delicious is green to yellow in colour, at times with a pinkish stripe; the flesh is crunchy and juicy with an acid-sweet flavour. The Red Delicious is red with a green-yellow background; the flesh has a pasty texture and usually a sweetish flavour. The Renetta Canada is greenish-yellow in colour, with ridged skin and, depending on the season, its flesh ranges from crunchy and sour to pasty and sweet.
The fruit growing tradition in Trentino-Alto Adige is very old, as demonstrated by the topography (the names of the cities of Malè and Malosco derive from the Latin Maletum, which means “place of apples”) and several authoritative historical sources. The apples were known of as far as the capital of the Habsburg Empire, as shown by a letter from 1739, in which a noble family is asked to send a crate of pomi rosmarini (rosemary apples) to Vienna, which were already known for their excellent quality. There are numerous sources dating back to the beginning of the 1800s, and in the second half of the century the fruit growers received many prizes and recognitions for the quality of the fruit they took to the international expositions of the time.
Mela Val di Non PDO should be kept at a low temperature. However, it is advisable to leave the apples at room temperature for four to five days before eating them. The apple is a very versatile product, and is considered to be a fruit par excellence. Numerous tasty recipes containing them (in particular the Golden Delicious variety) are proposed using delicious combinations: in starters, salads, together with pork and game and even in drinks. One should also not forget that the apple – in particular the Renetta –is the main ingredient in recipes such as apple cakes, strudel and fritters.
The product is marketed as Mela Val di Non PDO in the following varieties: Golden Delicious, Renetta Canada and Red Delicious, in the Extra and First categories, with a minimum size of 65 mm. Mela Val di Non PDO is sold either individually or packaged in suitable materials with clear labelling.
The area in which the Mela Val di Non PDO is grown is ideal for their cultivation, thanks to the special morphology, with high quantities of magnesium, giving the fruit elevated organoleptic qualities.