All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Kanzi apple

Part of the appeal of the old heritage apple varieties is their good honest names. In the "good old days" apples were named without fuss. A common strategy was the name of the person who discovered them - Pott’s Seedling, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Kidd’s Orange Red, Granny Smith, Chivers Delight and so on. If that didn’t have quite the right ring to it, the name of the local village might suffice: Ribston Pippin, Barnack Beauty, Allington Pippin, Braeburn. Another popular strategy was to borrow the name of a famous person such as Lord Lambourne, Freyberg, Bismarck for example. If you were stuck (or not very inventive) you just went for something really simple like Red Delicious or Golden Delicious. In the 21st century hower the important job of naming (or branding) new apple varieties is no longer left to the happy grower, but has been taken over by marketing departments, who see apples as just another consumer item, and might as well be naming a new car as a new apple. Thus we have Kanzi, a brand new 21st century apple, whose name is supposedly (loosely) derived from the Swahili for "hidden treasure" - of course.

Kanzi, as a name, does not perhaps have the same gravitas as the old heritage apple varieties - yet. Fortunately this is a pretty good apple so we can let the name grow on us. Kanzi has been developed and marketed by Greenstar Kanzi Europe (GKE) and first came on to the market in 2006. It’s not available from US growers yet, and most supplies are from the Netherlands.

The Kanzi apple ticks all the right boxes for a modern apple. It has the modern bi-coloured appearance, and does indeed look very attractive on the supermarket shelf. The marketing literature suggests that Kanzi is a crimson-red but all the examples we have seen are red-orange. It is a good firm fairly crisp apple, with a mild but pleasant apple flavour, slightly sharp rather than sweet and quite juicy.

The obvious comparison is with Jazz. Although Jazz was developed independently in New Zealand and has been available in supermarkets for a few years, it is actually a sibling of Kanzi – they share the same parents, Gala and Braeburn. We have done a number of comparative tastings of these two important new apples and it is difficult to say which is "best" - they are both very good examples of 21st century apple development. Anyone who thinks that only the old heritage apple varieties have any flavour will have to think again with either of these apple varieties. It is true that apple development went through a bit of a bad patch in the mid 20th century, with supermarkets putting supply chain attributes ahead of flavour, but there can be no doubt that modern apples like Jazz and Kanzi are right up there with the old classic apple varieties when it comes to flavour.

The colouration is very similar, but we think Kanzi is arguably the prettier apple. Jazz can look a little bit too tall, whereas Kanzi is more rounded -quite similar to Ariane (although the parentage is completely different).

Looks are important commercially, but for us it is mainly about the flavour of the apple. The flavour of both Kanzi and Jazz is extremely good, but also quite different. The Jazz apple has the stronger flavour, with its distinctive peardrop aftertaste and dense flesh. Kanzi is more delicate, with a less pronounced flavour and lighter flesh. In our tests so far most tasters prefer Kanzi (by a margin of at least 2/3rds to 1/3rd), partly because Jazz can be just a bit too solid to bite into sometimes. The milder flavour of Kanzi is also easier and less demanding, although perhaps a bit less memorable too. However your objective author should here state his own preference: Jazz wins because of its more distinctive flavour.

Kanzi is grown commericially in Europe, particularly the Netherlands, where it is one of the most widely-grown varieties (along with Elstar).

The photo below shows Jazz (left) and Kanzi (right) apples side by side.

Jazz apple and Kanzi apple

Kanzi identification images

  • Kanzi apples

USDA identification images for Kanzi

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.


    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety


    Siblings of this variety (same parentage)


    Visitor reviews

    • 20 May 2022 
      Hard and tasteless. Probably have a good shelf life if that is morecimpirtant to you than taste.
    • 04 Jul 2021  FL, United States
      Although it is a beautiful apple. I much prefer the taste of a Fuji or Jazz. This Apple has a strange taste. Will not buy again.
    • 29 Sep 2020  TN, United States
      Crisp, crunchy, juicy- tastes like a peach jolly rancher.
    • 09 Mar 2020  LOTHIAN, United Kingdom
      Having tried a Kanzi apple today, both my husband and I agree on it being crisp, juicy and flavourless. It was like someone stole the flavour of an apple and we wondered if our memory tried to fill in the blank. We straight away cut up a Jazz apple to share and though a firmer bite, it was so tasty. No more Kanzi apples in this house.
    • 02 Mar 2020  OH, United States
      This was the first time I ever had a Kanzi. I sat munching on it while browsing my phone and at one point was taken a-back with how delicious I found it! To me, it tasted like a cross between the best honeycrisp I've ever had and the best nectarine I ever had. I was so impressed that I brought them up in conversation with my family. I am impressed and will definitely buy again if i find them. As someone else noted, they are on the pricier side. I must now find a Jazz apple for the comparison.
    • 13 Nov 2017  NORTH CAROLINA, United States
      I just ate one of these Kanzi apples for the first time today. Not to tart, not to sweet, just a perfect balance. I would love to get about 5 pounds to make applesauce for canning. maybe we will get them in this area soon.
    • 11 Jul 2017  United States
      Just tasted for the first time, and will definitely have again when I see them available. Love the tartness, and the fruit and skin texture are very palatable in my opinion. A bit on the pricey side, but worth buying a few as a treat.
    • 04 Apr 2017  FL, United States
      I have never been one to regularly chomp down on apples, but the Kanzi has changed my craving!! Not too sweet, not too tart, just right! I only hope my store keeps carrying them. I live in the SW part of Florida, so we pretty much take what we can get when it comes to "non-citrus" fruit!
    • 29 Nov 2016  OREGON, United States
      I'm finding "Kanzi" to be the more flavorful apple this fall, here in our local stores, when compared to "Jazz" and "Pink Lady" which in most years are better than they seem to be this year. Sure, everyone says that all apples are great, but "Kanzi" is really worth trying this season should you get the chance.
    • 28 Oct 2016  VA, United States
      Best apple ever.!
    • 25 Sep 2016  United States
      Purchased at Kroger. Larger apple with Orange-Red coloring. Crisp but not sweet - maybe a little on the tart side. It was okay. This apple has it's own (quite elaborate) website.
    • 10 Mar 2016  CA/MARIN, United States
      I work at a Trader Joe's and am always looking to taste new foods and have become quite the apple snob. I love the "Honeycrisps" but they have to be the big ones. A customer bought a bag of Kanzi apples and shared one with me. It became my new favorite. I told all my customers about them. We love them but now can't find them. Help!!!
    • 18 Apr 2015  VIRGINIA, United States
      Found these by accident. What a scrumptious surprise! I find their crisp crunch reminds me of an apple-pear cross. The Kanzi's taste is clean, tart, & very sweet (usually eat Granny Smiths). I highly recommend & wish they'd stay stocked at my market as they've become my fav apple!
    • 10 Dec 2014  NORTH YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Orange pippin is my favourite but this one is excellent I shall buy some more Kanzi. They are not tart or tanic but have character similar to pippin.
    • 27 Jul 2014  WI, United States
      Wow... just tasted my first Kanzi apple, and it is packed with flavor. It closely resembles its sister Jazz in color and flavor, but it is a lot more tart. A little TOO tart for me in fact. So I prefer Jazz. But a tasty apple for sure. It has a very vinous and spritely aftertaste as well. Would make a great cider I think.
    • 31 Mar 2014  PA, United States
      i recently purchased a 3 lb. bag at a local super market for $3.50 they were delicious, the best apple I have ever eaten. I will certainly continue to buy them.
    • 01 Feb 2014  NORTHAMPTON, United Kingdom
      I bought the Kanzi apple for the first time two weeks ago, I looked at the Jazz first but decided on the Kanzi. It is one of the nicest apples I have tasted for a very long time, the others I have bought usually end up going wrinkly in my fruit bowl and getting thrown away. These were eaten in no time as the taste was delicious. My granddaughter can't get enough of them which is good, far better than sweets. After reading these reviews I shall try the Jazz as well so I can compare flavours. I am off to the shops now to get some more as my son ate my last one, he wants me to get him some as well. That must be a good advertisement.
    • 19 Nov 2013  HAMPSHIRE, United Kingdom
      We have had customer tastings of U.K. KANZI, JAZZ and CAMEO and the JAZZ apple proved most popular with the majority of our very judgemental customers commenting on the crisp intense flavour of the JAZZ apple.
    • 17 Oct 2013  MN MINNESOTA, United States
      I tried a couple of Kanzi apples last week from a local supermarket in Minnesota. I was quite disappointed; they had a very odd chemical flavor. Perhaps it was just these particular apples, but I would not buy them again.
    • 06 Apr 2012  WA, United States
      Unfortunetly Jazz is sold only to commercial grower's in the states....i've looked all over and that seems to be it....i had Jazz last year and was impressed with it....yummy....if you can get a tree from a commercial grower...great, but might not be so easy. I am liking the Pink lady apple this year and just got a tree to plant next to my Cox orange pippin, (old european variety grafted onto new root stock).
    • 26 Feb 2012  TRURO, United Kingdom
      Love these apples! They are crisp, juicy and not too sweet. Bought them from the reduced bin in Tesco a few weeks ago & have been buying them ever since. Have tried Jazz too & that is also very good.
    • 15 Jan 2012  NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Just finishing my 3rd purchase of Sainsburys 'Taste the difference' (Kanzi - 6 or 8 in a bag for just over £2). Having just moved I intended planting fruit trees and am looking for a nursery supplying the trees. Does anyone know if they're available yet?
    • 13 Feb 2011  KENT, United Kingdom
      just something speccial about this apple... I;m not a lover of foreign apples but this great I hope soon we can buy the trees
    • 16 Jan 2011  Israel
      Found the Kanzi in our supermarket tonight for the first time. I liked it very much but wish it was a little harder. Now that I have read what you said about Jazz, I hope that will come here too, that should fit my preference.
    • 01 Dec 2010  DEVON, United Kingdom
      cannot believe this bland(ish)apple can be compared to a jazz, bought some in Tesco's and was a little dissappointed. Hope 1 day my fav Kidds Orange Red will be embraced by the multinationals
    • 14 Apr 2010  CHICHESTER, United Kingdom
      I have just bought these apples for the second time and once again have really enjoyed them. Came to the site to find out more about them and am not surprised at their heritage - Gala and Braeburn. An excellent combination. Clever growers!
    • 05 Dec 2009  COLCHESTER ESSEX, United Kingdom
      Bought 4 of these apples today from Tesco - odd name for a european apple - husband and I love Jazz (which I mainly use for tarte tatin) - they are absolutely delicious, sweet, firm and very juicy. Shall definitely buy them again.
    • 01 Dec 2009 
      I am one of the fussiest apple eaters and cannot eat an apple that isn't quite right for me. I like apples to be crunchy, sharp but sweet and not go soft/"clothy". I can tell by the first bite whether I will eat the remainder of the apple, and I can honestly say that every Kanzi I have eaten has been excellent, and I have thrown none away. I only buy English apples at this time of year, and I'm thrilled that Tesco stock them per kilo (there's no way I could eat a whole plastic bag full) and I like to select my own for shape/size etc. A love this apple!!!
    • 22 Nov 2009  WORCESTERSHIRE, United Kingdom
      Just had my first taste of Kanzi. I really enjoyed the flavour and the look of the apple and the price was great at £1.25 for a bag of 7 in Tesco. I actually picked up the Jazz first but put them back as my preference is for a round apple not the longer looking apple. I will try the Jazz just to see which I prefer tastewise but aesthetically I lean towards the Kanzi.
    • 20 Nov 2009  TUNBRIDGE WELLS/KENT, United Kingdom
      I worked with english apples for six years - heritage and modern ones. I don't think Kanzi is the best representative of what "new times" can bring - obviously storage capability was first reason behing creating this rather hard to bite/not too sweet apple. The colours are as vivid as early Braeburn (i.e. orangey instead of palatable red). Overall a good apple for storing, not the best one to consume if one has a sweet tooth
    • 14 Nov 2009  BLENHEIM, New Zealand
      A great review of both Jazz and Kanzi apples. However I note with a degree of despair the comments that GBP 1.50 is "getting expensive". If you want premium apples - indeed if you want premium food - please be prepared to spend a little extra. Food is now cheaper than it has every been at any time, in history. Yet still people want it even cheaper. Fair enough, but to make it even cheaper we have to mess about with the animals/fruit/grains genetically in order to produce more from fewer inputs. All ready supermarkets and their customers have driven down the price of British dairy products to the point where soon, there will be no local production. It's your call. But, please, when buying your food, keep this in mind. I suggest that you buy your local produce fresh, in season and then southern hemisphere products out of season, this will keep everyone in business - more especially the strategic reserve for food production in the UK. Incidentally, the "food miles" on produce shipped halfway round the world in modern vessels is less than the food miles from France, Spain or Italy. But don't go without French truffles because of this, just know about it and read the newspapers with scepticism.
    • 05 Nov 2009  DEVON, United Kingdom
      Tried this variety (Kanzi) for the very first time this week, and couldn't believe an English grown apple would be this good. Excellent flavour (not too sweet/sharp), lovely fragrence (my office smelt of apple for an hour afterwards) but best of all a fantastic crisp texture which won't rip your crowns out. Oh, I forgot, the colour is stunning.
    • 25 Oct 2009  IRELAND, Ireland
      Nice sized apple with a good taste.
    • 24 Jul 2009  NEW JERSEY USA, United States
      Just got the first taste of Jazz. Love the crunchy dense flesh and not too sweet flavor. Can't wait to try the Kanzi.
    • 27 Feb 2009  CHESTER, United Kingdom
      I got a bag of Kanzi apples from Tesco in Chester this week for £1.49 a bag and they are amazing. They are currently Tesco's 'market value' apple which means that they're one of the store's cheapest varieties. Hope they last!
    • 10 Jan 2009  ILMINSTER, SOMERSET,UK, United Kingdom
      I am also trying to source Kanzi, also Jazz
    • 16 Aug 2008  NEWMARKET, SUFFOLK, United Kingdom
      I am trying to source a few of the Kanzi trees but am struggling to find a supplier - could you help please?
    • 10 Mar 2008  HARWICH, United Kingdom
      I have the english Kanzi apple for sale for the last 2 month. All my client's like it. I'm selling it for 70p a lb, which is about 3 apples. I think I'm nearly the only one to sell it around here. any questions mail to:zach- nurseries@freenet.de
    • 03 Mar 2008  WILTSHIRE, United Kingdom
      I can't remember what first made me pick the Kanzi, as they were a 'Taste the Difference' from Sainsbury, packed 4 together on a tray (I hate buying with extra packaging) and priced at £1.69 - not cheap in my book!! I guess it was because they came from the Netherlands, which is where I come from. Still, both my husband and I are rather hooked now. We've favoured Braeburns, preferably the NZ ones, for years, but we both think this Kanzi apple is sensational! The flavour is tart and the juice gushes into your mouth when you take a bite. Once when I wanted some grated apple, I was left with the skin and without thinking I popped it in my mouth - even that on its own was nice enough and not at all 'touch' as some skins on their own would be, to eat the lot! Having read the article, I must find the Jazz apple, too! I hope these apples will soon become more readily available, and therefore less expensive. In the Netherlands they are only very slightly more expensive than, say, Braeburns. I hope UK follows suit in the very near future.

    Tree register

    We don't have any registered trees for this variety yet.

    Origins

    • Species: Malus domestica
    • Parentage: Gala x Braeburn
    • Introduced: 2004-2007
    • Developed by: Better3Fruits; Greenstar Kanzi Europe NV

    Growing

    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Ploidy: Diploid

    Identification

    • Country of origin: Belgium

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.



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