They call it the Cosmic Crisp. It's not a video game, a superhero, or the title of a Grateful Dead song. It's a new variety of apple, coming to a grocery store near you Dec. 1, the AP reports. Cosmic Crisp is the first apple ever bred in Washington state, which grows the majority of the United States' apples. It's expected to be a game changer. Already, growers have planted 12 million Cosmic Crisp apple trees, a sign of confidence in the new variety. While only 450,000 40-pound boxes will be available for sale this year, that will jump to more than 2 million boxes in 2020 and more than 21 million by 2026. The apple variety was developed by Washington State University. Washington growers, who paid for the research, will have the exclusive right to sell it for the first 10 years.
The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because of the bright yellowish dots on its skin, which look like distant stars. "I've never seen an apple prettier in the orchard than these things are," said Aaron Clark of Yakima, whose family owns several orchards in central Washington and has planted 80 acres of Cosmic Crisps. The new variety keeps for a long time in storage and in the refrigerator, said Kate Evans, who runs the breeding program at Washington State University. And it's an exceptionally good "eating apple," she said. "It's ultra-crisp, very juicy and has a good balance of sweetness and tartness." Cosmic Crisps are a cross between the disease-resistant Enterprise and the popular, crunchy Honeycrisp varieties.
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