Beyond the Honeycrisp Apple

Cosmic Crisp“Take one bite of a Cosmic Crisp — dramatically dark, richly flavored and explosively crisp and juicy — and it’s easy to see why it is already being hailed as the most promising and important apple of the future.

Americans have been falling hard for new apples. Of the top 10 sellers in the 2014 crop, the only three to post sales gains were recently developed, premium-priced varieties: Ambrosia, Honeycrisp and Jazz, according to Nielsen data. While sales of Red Delicious, a traditional variety, slumped 15 percent from the previous year, and McIntoshes 9 percent, Ambrosia (whose website calls it “Food of the Gods”) scored a 47 percent leap.

But fruit breeders around the world have been busy creating an array of even newer varieties — with flashy names like SweeTango, Juici, Opal and SnapDragon — that could knock Honeycrisp and its generation of fruit from their lucrative perch atop a national apple industry that reaps about $3 billion for farmers each year.

Several, including Cosmic Crisp, are under development in central Washington, which produces almost two-thirds of the apples grown in the United States.”

Read the full New York Times article.

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