Cosmic Crisp apples have hit produce aisles, but only in Washington [Updated]

Photo: Cosmic Crisp

Update, December 3, 2019: Finally, the day has arrived, and the Cosmic Crisp now graces grocery store shelves!

In Seattle. And only Seattle.

It’s a highly anticipated apple nationwide, but for now, the rollout appears to be happening only in the fruit’s home state, reports KREM 2, a CBS affiliate in Spokane, Washington. Which is fair, since it took more than 20 years of development at Washington State University to bring it to market—not to mention that, for a state that grows 60% of the country’s apple supply, humble Washington has never bred a variety of its own until now. In the short term at least, residents should be the ones reaping the spoils. But in the new year, we’ll be champing at the bit to chomp on this beaut.

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Original post, October 21, 2019: I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve been obsessed with the Cosmic Crisp apple since July when I read this article about it in The California Sunday Magazine. It is supposed to be as flavorful as a Honeycrisp, as disease-resistant as an Enterprise, and as easy to store as a Red Delicious. It has been in development since 1997 when breeders at Washington State University first crossed a Honeycrisp with an Enterprise, which is a relatively short time for an apple varietal. It’s also the first new apple variety ever to be developed in Washington State. More significantly, there are already 13 million trees growing Cosmic Crisp, and the marketing budget for its launch is $10.5 million, which means that, unlike the Autumn Glory apple (said to taste like cinnamon and caramel, and my god, do I want one), you will likely be able to get a Cosmic Crisp in your hot little hands soon after the official launch date, December 1.

The apple gets its name from the little yellow speckles over its skin that look like constellations. (These are actually holes called lenticles through which the apple breathes.) It’s like, cosmic, dude. Or at least that’s what the focus group that named it thought.

I know, I know, it’s easy to get distracted by the hype. But how can you not want an apple that’s been described like this (by Brooke Jarvis in California Sunday)?

The Cosmic Crisp has flesh that’s creamy white, is so dense that the apple feels heavy in your hand, and has a flavor that is pleasant, a bit more sweet than zing. Most important, it cleaves cleanly in your mouth — a crunch that lasts a long time in controlled-atmosphere storage, all the way around the calendar and into the next harvest season.

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Farmers hate Honeycrisps because they’re so finicky: a quarter of them don’t make it to market. So here’s to a new apple that makes everyone happy?

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About the author

Marnie Shure

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

Aimee Levitt

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.