Cosmic Crisp, a new apple variety developed by the University of Washington, will make its debut in grocery stores no Dec.1. The research for the creation of this new variety was paid for by Washington apple growers and they will therefore have exclusive rights to sell it for the first 10 years.
The Cosmic Crisp is a good eating apple, reports Aaron Clark of Yakima, WA, whose family has planted 80 acres of the new variety on several orchards they own in Central Washington. The Cosmic Crisp apples are ultra-crisp, and
juicy with a good balance between being sweet and tart.
The Cosmic Crisp apples were named as such because they have bright yellow dots on its red skin that look ike stars in the sky.
The university’s research and development teams used a cross between two apple varieties: the disease-resistant Enterprise apple and the ever popular, crunchy Honeycrisp which was developed by the University of Minnesota about a couple of decades ago.
Apples are big business in Washington state which grows approximately 60 percent of what is supplied to the nation which comes to nearly 140 million boxes and bringing in $2.5 billion yearly. Apple growers in Washington ship out about 23 % of Gala, 20% of Red Delicious and 13% of Fuji varieties.
Washington State growers have planted 12 million of the Cosmic Crisp apple trees, showing the confidence they have in this new variety. There are over 1500 apple growers in the state covering 175,000 acres of orchards. And every fall there are approximately 50,000 people who pick about 12 million apples by hand, after which they are sent out to 60 different countries worldwide.
Only 450,000 40 pound boxes will be available for market this year, however those figures are expected jump to 2 million boxes by 2020 and by 2026 it should increase to more than 21 million boxes.
The Cosmic Crisp apple is the first apple developed in Washington state even though the state has been known for apples for over a century.
It took 20 years to breed the apple tree seeds for the Cosmic Crisp variety by the researchers at Washington State’s Tree Fruit Research Center in Wenatchee, WA and in 2010 the first Cosmic Crisp apples appeared according to Wikipedia but was not made available for market nationwide until now.