One of the UK's oldest food markets created The Real Apple Store to showcase 1,000 British apple varieties as part of its anniversary celebrations (+ slideshow).
London's Borough Market commissioned communications agency TinMan and London events company Teatime Production to create an installation for the market's annual Apple Day – a festival to mark the end of the harvest season – as well as remind visitors that it is celebrating its 1000th anniversary this year.
For one weekend, the team turned the market's traditional apple display into a playful reinterpretation of the store designs of tech giant Apple, which trademarked the "distinctive design and layout" of its shops last year.
A covered shopping space on one side of the market was turned into a "shiny, white modern setting" with 1,000 different varieties of apples exhibited in vitrines, on clear perspex cylinders, or on a giant wall display.
"The world's oldest known apple, Court Pendu Plat, which was introduced by the Romans and still flourishes today, was displayed in a prestigious perspex box whilst 999 other varieties were presented on sleek white plinths and shelving units," explained a statement from Borough Market.
"Varieties included the Ananas Reinette with its distinct pineapple flavour, the unattractive Knobby Russet which, covered in knobbles, shows beauty is in the eye of the beholder with its strong, firm but delicious flesh, the Robston Pippin, a favourite of Charles Dickens, and the Victorian Adams Pearmain which recalls a bygone era with its autumnal colouring."
Each variety singled out for the vitrine displays and the plinths was accompanied by a short snippet of information about the species printed in black text on a white background, detailing its origin and history and explaining its flavour.
A giant black silhouette of a whole apple was mounted on one wall, while a white vinyl window decal of the same shape was created for the glazed wall of the space to signpost the exhibition to passersby.
Traders at the market, which occupies an historic site adjacent to Southwark Cathedral on the south bank of the River Thames, also sold limited-edition apple-related products including apple tarts, apple balsamic vinegar, crab apple preserves and chocolate-coated toffee apples.
Other activities included traditional games like apple bobbing, an apple-peeling competition and a traditional Morris dancing performance.
"This country's love affair with the apple is no secret – we have been eating apples for centuries," said David Matchett, market development manager at Borough Market. "However, there are some varieties under threat and we risk losing the diversity of this delicious fruit."
"This exhibition is not only a celebration of the British apple but a chance for us to raise the profile of these little known varieties and campaign to save them. At Borough, we've always been known for the variety of fresh produce on offer. Apple Day is an extension of that."
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