Get Ready for the Cosmic Crisp, a New Hybrid Apple We Can't Wait to Try

The cross between Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples will hopefully land in grocery stores this fall. Keep your eyes peeled!

This fall, you’ll be able to give your apple pies, apple crisps, and apple cakes a makeover. We’re not talking about a new recipe. Instead, you’ll be able to dress up baked goods by changing up one key ingredient: The apple! A new variety called the Cosmic Crisp will soon be hitting the produce section of grocery stores, and we can’t wait to add it to charcuterie boards and pack in our lunches.

Tops of Cosmic Crisp apples
Image courtesy of The Cosmic Crisp. Courtesy of The Cosmic Crisp

Cosmic Crisp apples have been in development since 1997. They're a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp—both of which were created from other apple varieties (Honeycrisp apples were first released in 1991)—and were created at Washington State University as part of their fruit tree breeding program. Right now, Cosmic Crisp are only grown in Washington state—along with about 70 percent of the country’s apples—but millions of trees have been planted to make the apple widely available (around 6.7 million were planted in the spring of 2018 alone).

So, what does the fruit taste like? Cosmic Crisp apples are both sweet, like Honeycrisp apples, and tart with plenty of juice, making them great snacks. The apples have a firm, crisp texture, and they’re also slow to brown after slicing, so they’ll be great for appetizers and charcuterie boards. Once production takes off, they should be available year-round like most other apple varieties.

Cosmic Crisp apple growing on tree
Image courtesy of The Cosmic Crisp.

The apple’s galactic moniker comes from its appearance—Cosmic Crisp apples are a bright, rich red, with distinguished lenticels (tiny white spots that function almost like pores) that some have said look like starbursts. Combine that with its firm, crisp flesh—and a nod to one of its parent apples, the Honeycrisp—and the Cosmic Crisp name was born.

Since the Cosmic Crisp is brand new this year, don’t be surprised if you have a little trouble tracking it down. However, if the apple becomes popular (and it’s expected to), within a few years they may be even easier to find than Honeycrisps and Pink Ladies. Since millions of trees have already been planted to produce the fruit, Cosmic Crisp growers are expecting to produce and sell over 5 million 40-pound cartons by 2021.

Still, keep your eyes peeled this fall, because Cosmic Crisps could show up in your local grocery store. While we (impatiently) wait, we’ll keep snacking on our cotton candy grapes and Sumo oranges, both of which were created like the Cosmic Crisp, by combining existing fruit varieties.

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