The wait is over. Say hello to Cosmic Crisp® WA 38 cv brand apple! After years of anticipation, the apple born in Washington State has finally arrived, making its debut in grocery stores around the country (learn where you can find Cosmic Crisp® near you) early December 2019.
You may know the apple as Cosmic Crisp®, which is the apple’s brand name, however to apple breeders and researchers, the apple is called WA38. WA38 has been in the making since the mid 1990’s – over 20 years! An apple breeder and horticulturalist at Washington State University named Bruce Barritt, set out to discover an apple that was firm, crisp and juicy that consumers would love. After many years of research and development, WA38 was born and Barritt and his team knew it was going to be big.
WA38 was developed just like any other apple variety, through natural cross pollination methods. It was a cross between two varieties – Enterprise and the famous Honeycrisp. Enterprise is a firm and crisp apple with mild tartness. It is very hardy and grower-friendly, and tastes great after it has been stored for a couple of months. The other parent is Honeycrisp(which we all know)a super sweet and extremely juicy apple that is a popular choice among apple lovers everywhere. Combine the two and voila – WA38 was born!
Currently, the variety is only allowed to be grown by apple growers in Washington State, so it safe to say it has a special place in Washington resident’s hearts. J Stemilt grows WA38 in the Columbia Basin region, an area that is known for its warm, sunny days, nutrient rich soil, and abundance of fresh water sources.
Stemilt has been involved with the development of Cosmic Crisp® for over a decade! When it comes to apple breeding, there are many steps or “phases” as researchers call it, that comes with launching a new apple variety. Stemilt has been involved since phase III. This phase is dedicated to planting, testing and taking care of WA38 (Cosmic Crisp®) trees in test orchard blocks. After a few years of fruit production, Stemilt was able to learn more about how this variety grows, what is needed to care for the fruit and perfect the art of growing a delicious Cosmic Crisp® apple.
Stemilt harvests WA38 in October, when many other varieties are coming off the trees. So why is it not available right after harvest? Cosmic Crisp® is an apple that benefits from being stored for a month or two after harvest as it allows the fruit’s starch levels to convert to sugars, making the apple super sweet! Cosmic Crisp® is picked with high starch levels, so the longer the apple sits, the more the starches will convert and the result is a super sweet, crunchy and delicious apple!
Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathison’s, are excited to grow this new apple. The Enterprise parent makes it a hardy apple when it comes to other Honeycrisp crosses. A less delicate skin means that it remains high-quality all the way from the field to your home. Cosmic Crisp® also has an incredible juicy and sweet-tart flavor profile and stunning appearance. Since the Mathison family strives to delight consumers with its World Famous Fruits, the decision to grow Cosmic Crisp® apples was an easy one!
The brand name Cosmic Crisp® was chosen because of the lenticel pattern that you can see on the apple. It reminded the team naming the apple of the cosmos and the many possibilities this apple will be able to provide apple lovers! The ‘crisp’ part of the name was due to the parent variety, the Honeycrisp as well as it’s crisp attribute. If you like crisp, juicy apples then you will like Cosmic Crisp®!
What is a Cosmic Crisp® apple exactly? What does Cosmic Crisp® taste like? Both are great questions! Cosmic Crisp® is a large, juicy, red apple that has a firm and crisp texture that provides ample sweetness, making it an excellent apple for eating and baking. It is a bi-colored apple that comes with the perfect flavor and texture balance and long storage capabilities. In fact, Cosmic Crisp® can be stored up to a year while still maintaining its sweet flavor and nice crunch! The apple is also naturally resistant to browning, making it a great apple for entertaining.
Have you had the chance to try a Cosmic Crisp® apple yet? If not, we suggest it!
Ideas to use Cosmic Crisp® Apples:
Charcuterie Board – slicing Cosmic Crisp® and including it on a charcuterie board is a great way to feature the apple’s ability to resist browning!
Apple Cinnamon Rolls – Cosmic Crisp® is a great baking apple and will do wonders in this Apple Cinnamon Roll recipe!
Fresh Snacking – there are so many ways to slice apples so practice those skills on a delicious Cosmic Crisp® apple!