Cosmic Crisp apple that ‘lasts a year’ to hit American stores
Fruit selling online for €9 an apple is a GM-free cross-hybridisation, says university
Cosmic Crisp: the apple is named for the tiny dots on its skin, which reminded tasters of ‘outer space and the cosmos’
The Cosmic Crisp, a new supersweet variety of apple that can reportedly last more than a year in the refrigerator, is expected to hit grocery stores in the United States this week.
The apple, first cultivated in 1997 and developed by Washington State University, purports to have a “remarkably firm and crisp texture” and be “surprisingly sweet, making it an excellent eating apple”, according to its website. The launch has reportedly cost $10 million, or €9 million.
The fruit, a cross between the Enterprise and Honeycrisp apple varieties, has been bred to feature “naturally higher levels of acidity and sugar” – so much so that one can use less sugar while baking, researchers claim. They also say that it’s “naturally slow to brown when cut and maintains its texture and flavour in storage for more than a year”.
For those who can’t wait for their local grocery store to stock Cosmic Crisps, four apples were retailing for $39 online over the weekend
Kate Evans, who heads the university’s pome-fruit breeding programme, emphasizes that Cosmic Crisp was made not through genetic modification but through cross-hybridisation. Evans says the idea of crossing the two varieties was to make an apple that featured both Enterprise’s resistance to browning and disease and Honeycrisp’s sweet flavour.
Its name stems from tiny bright dots on the apple’s otherwise darker red skin. Tasters said the flecks reminded them of “outer space and the cosmos”, Cosmic Crisp’s website notes.
Farmers in Washington, the biggest apple-producing state, are understood to have exclusive growing rights for a decade. The initial 600,000 Cosmic Crisp trees were sold to farmers in 2017; since then, more than 10 million Cosmic Crisp trees have been planted, according to Evans.
Just over 450,000 40lb (18kg) boxes of the Cosmic Crisp crop were expected to be shipped to retailers across the US on Sunday. The producers hope the shipments will grow to 2.1 million boxes in 2020.
For those who can’t wait for their local grocery store to stock them, four apples were retailing for $39 (€35) online over the weekend.– Guardian