These apples are worth more than $230 apiece — and even if you could stomach the cost, you wouldn’t want to eat them.
Branded with the COP21 logo in honor of the Paris climate conference, these “illustrated apples” are works of art created with the climate (not consumption) in mind. They’re intended as gifts for each of the 196 U.N. member countries who will attend the conference.
Pascal Garbe, who works at the French garden that grew apples, explains that they are the perfect reminder for guests of the conference since apple crops are susceptible to climate change. “If there is a storm at the wrong moment, if snow or frost comes, it can kill the whole crop,” he explains to DW.
This special crop of illustrated apples was produced through an intensive six-month process. DW reports:
“It began when the apples had grown to the size of a cherry,” Garbe explains. “Then, at the end of June, the apples were packed in little bags. They continued to grow, but kept their yellow-white color.”
At the beginning of September came the next step. The bags were removed, and stickers applied to the apples. Any design is possible: portraits, cartoons, logos, buildings. The masked areas are protected from the sun, while the rest continues to ripen. “Around six days later, we harvest the apples,” Garbe says.
Only a handful of growers have mastered the technique around the world. “Of course, there are a few other companies, but they mainly use lasers,” Garbe says. “Our method, on the other hand, is completely natural — the apples ripen with the light, the sun, the weather.”
If you’re dreaming about biting into one of these miniature masterpieces, think again. The Gloster variety was chosen for this task for its rosy hue and pleasing shape, but flavor wasn’t taken into consideration. “They are not intended for consumption,” Garbe told DW. “Who would eat such a work of art?”
Garbe recommends chilling the apples to keep them lookin’ good for a whole year. But we have yet to see what the delegates will choose to do when they come into possession of these tempting rosy babes.
Watch a time lapse: