Accession Number: 18-10-32
Lineage: M359 x Brookland
Released by: Rick Sawatzky, University of Saskatchewan
Titratable Acidity: 0.56-0.75% Malic Acid
Sugar: 12.7-13.7 Brix
Notes: Prairie Sensation was released by the U of Sk in 2008. Prairie Sensation fruit is large, between 7.3 and 8.6 cms in diameter (average of 10 fruit is 7.63 cms or 3 inches) and roundish to slightly oblate in shape. The cross section is round and the longitudinal section is unequal. The base colour of the skin is two shades of light green (colour chips150C and 154D; Royal Horticultural Society 1966) (62/2 and 63/3, Wilson Colour Ltd. 1941), which is 50% covered by two shades (colour chips 44C and 44D; Royal Horticultural Society 1966) of red in wash and stripes. There is scant bloom and the lenticels are numerous and inconspicuous. The skin is smooth and medium thick. The flesh colour is white and the texture is fine, firm, tender (breaking), crisp and juicy. The core size is medium to small and closed and has a median position in the fruit. The core lines are slightly clasping around slightly emarginate carpals. The seeds are the usual shape and colour being medium brown and acute. The flavour is a mild subacid with an intense aromatic component. The blossom end basin is wide. The calyx is persistent, convergent, re-curved and well developed over a closed cavity having a conical calyx tube and basal stamens. The stem is short and medium thick in an acute cavity. The fruit set as singles or pairs and requires little thinning.
The tree is slightly leggy with an open crown but sets up a moderate number of short spurs. It is not a tip-barer. It is hardy and continued to yield crops after the hard winters between 1996 and 1998.
Prairie Sensation has continued to score well in informal taste tests since 1993. Groups of growers, students, Horticulture Societies, faculty and staff consistently rated it as one of the best of our selections. In 2001 and 2002 it was submitted to sensory evaluation panels (10 to 14 people) made up of faculty, staff and students at the University of Saskatchewan. The evaluation protocol was similar to that used at the Pacific Agri-Food Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, British Columbia (Quamme et al. 1999). The panellists scored the fruit using a 1 to 8 Hedonic scale (1=worst, ‘disgusting’ to 8=best, ‘just right for me’) on appearance, texture (including firmness, crispness and juiciness) and flavour (including sweet/sour balance, astringency and aromatic flavours). The fruit was evaluated after 53 days in air storage at 0° Celsius. Prairie Sensation scored well compared to standard cultivars. (See figures 1 through 4) The same sensory data for each year is presented in two charts, the second showing more details than the first. The data clearly shows that Prairie Sensation is not inferior to the best standard cultivars that can be grown here with some reliability. This is important because these standards have shown various amounts of winter injury in past years and Prairie Sensation has been fully hardy.
The fruit also stores well, consistently receiving good sensory evaluation scores in January and February.