Delicious Pilafa Apples from Tripoli (PDO)
Elias Pilafas: "The father of the apple of Tripoli Delicious Pilafa"
Elias Pilafas, son of Andreas was born in Kerasia, Arcadia, in 1890.
On February 22, 1900, Elias was ten-year-old and he boarded the ship MAASDAM bound for New York, dreaming of a better life on the Promised Land, as America was then called.
He lived and worked in Morris, Illinois, acquiring his own grocery store. In his thirties he is repatriated when a letter arrived from his village in America, informing him that his mother is seriously ill. Without a second thought he arrives at the port of New York and takes the first boat to be near his sick mother.
The journey of the Pilafa apple begins…
Leaving for Greece, Elias got from a greengrocer a few Golden Russet apples (a rare variety that thrives in North New York), for food on the boat.
In his long journey to his homeland, the idea was born to keep and transport seeds to his birthplace, to produce his own apples, although he was neither an agronomist nor a farmer.
In late February 1920, he sows the seeds in his garden in Kerasia. Seventeen trees are growing. But after a strong hail in the summer of the same year only one survives. E. Pilafas takes care of this small tree with love and passion and in 1928 he holds in his hands the first fruits, the apples that were later named Tripoli Delicious Pilafa.
The relationship of the Pilafa apple with our estate.
Elias Pilafas’ collaboration with the Kyriakoulis family begins in 1945, when this arboreal Kerasiotis supplied the first batches of trees of this variety to our great-grandfather Andreas Kyriakoulis, in Vouno Arcadia .
With the same passion and love that Pilafas had for this crop, we continue the production, standardization and marketing of Tripoli Delicious Pilafa apples.
Pilafa apples with identity...
The apples are crunchy, with a slightly sweet and sour taste and a delicate banana aroma, while their skin is greenish-red with brown freckles. Thanks to its solid flesh, it can be stored for days to months in and out of the refrigerator. The five mastoid processes at the bottom, their dull appearance, medium to small size and their excellent aroma are their characteristics that will help you to recognize them.
They have great nutritional value, strong antioxidant activity and their substances help prevent many forms of cancer, reduce bad cholesterol, intestinal diseases and good heart function. Finally, the small percentage of sugars they have, make them permissible for diabetics as well.
Awards, Distinctions and Certifications
Although not the Golden Raspberry Apples, they claim the first medal in consumer preferences
Their creator Elias Pilafas and this variety of apples have won the following awards and distinctions:
- 1934 – 1937 – 1939: Gold Awards at the Thessaloniki International Fair
- 1945: Award from the Academy of Athens «Ανθ’ ων υπέρ των μηλεών είργασται»
- 1954: Bronze Medal of agricultural value of King George II
- 1962: Official designation of the Pilafas apple as “Pilafa DELICIOUS Tripoli”, by the Ministry of Agriculture with decision 225700/13362
They have also received the following certifications:
- 1994: Their recognition in the National Catalog, as Products of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
- 1997: European recognition as a PDO.
The cultivation is carried out with modern methods, guided by experienced agronomists and expert advisors. Because our goal is quality products with respect for the environment and the earth.
The harvest begins in mid-October and lasts until the end of April. Apples are imported to our facilities in compliance with food safety and handling standards ISO 22000 & HACCP.
The storage is done in modern cooling chambers (controlled temperature and humidity), in our own facilities. We keep the apples from Tripoli Delicious Pilafa until April at temperatures of 0-1 oC and humidity 90-95%.
The sorting is done in an advanced unit of standardization of apples with a capacity of 2-3 tons per hour. Apples are subject to sorting, cleaning and sorting processes to be included in our packaging. Waxes and polishes are not used for food and consumer safety.