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Q: While shopping I recently came across an apple called a “lemonade apple” from New Zealand. On the sticker it also had the word “Yummy” which I believe was the brand that produced the apples. I was wondering if there are any kashrut concerns about this type of apple or other fruit that may be crossbred. Also could you possibly provide some information about the rules of kashrut regarding crossbred fruits?
A: Apple breeders have put tremendous efforts into continuously creating new varieties of apple, and a recent article (http://bit.ly/1choNFs) listed, in detail, the 79 new types of apple created in recent years. Among those are the Lemonade Apples from New Zealand, and that variety is kosher, as are the others listed. [These varieties of apple should not be confused with Grapple, which is an apple infused with grape-flavor; that apple requires certification to ensure that the flavoring is kosher.] Some details on this are presented below:
The general halacha is that one may not graft different types of trees together, but even if one did so the fruit produced from such grafting is kosher. This prohibition, known as kilayim, is the reason why the common farming practice of grafting an almond branch onto a peach base is forbidden, but nonetheless, if one did so the resulting almonds may be eaten. In the case of apple-breeding, many of the new breeds are actually created by crossbreeding different varieties of apple, such as Braeburn and Royal Gala apples which are bred to create the “Envy” apple. The varieties used are often so similar to one another that there is no prohibition of kilayim at all. These halachos are discussed in Shulchan Aruch YD 295, and readers are encouraged to seek Rabbinic guidance if they are considering crossbreeding different trees or other plants.