Originally published in August 2017; updated August 2020.
After two decades, it’s finally time to get acquainted with the apple you’ll rave about. The Rave® apple is the brand name for a brand-new apple variety, called MN55, which Stemilt will help debut this month in select produce departments! Only the highest quality MN55 apples get to be called Rave® at your stores. It’s part Honeycrisp and part MonArk, a varietal from Arkansas, and with a harvest date earlier than any other apple in Washington State, Rave® will be your new signal apple season has arrived.
What’s so special about Rave® apples?
There’s so much to tell you! Because of its MonArk parentage, Rave® likes the summer heat and matures up to two – three weeks earlier than other apples. This is great news for those of us that love apples! It has a beautiful bright red-over-yellow color and that infamous Honeycrisp bite we all know and love. Rave® is also outrageously juicy with a refreshing snappy zing. Sounds like the perfect late summer apple, right?
How did Rave® come to be?
Rave® was developed through a traditional breeding method of crossing pollen of the flowers of two apple varietals (Honeycrisp and MonArk). This happens in nature and it takes several years following the cross before a new apple is born. Researchers make thousands of crosses every year – and as you might guess – most apples are discarded on the journey to find the few (like Rave®) that have the ‘wow’ factor to stand out in the apple crowd.
Rave® is the third success story from researcher David Bedford of University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program. Most apple breeders are lucky if they see one of their “babies” released commercially during their career, and David now has three, including the amazing Honeycrisp and rising star, SweeTango®. With relatives like that, it’s no wonder why we are excited to be the first grower to bring Rave® to you!
Now that Rave® has been on the market for the last couple of years, the apple is more widely distributed and easier to find. Use our store locator to find the apple nearest you and know that Stemilt’s founding family, the Mathisons, love this fruit and will be growing even more in the future.
For those of you that find a Rave® apple this year, my advice to you is to enjoy it as a fresh snack on its own. This apple is so juicy and refreshing (and its juiciness is why we don’t recommend baking/cooking with it)! You could also try Rave® as a crisp bite on a green salad or paired with your cheese of choice (I can see the charcuterie boards already!). Check out some of our favorite recipes below:
Apple Bruschetta – Perfect for entertaining, this easy apple bruschetta is irresistible!
Nut Butter Pairings – Like we mentioned earlier, Rave® tastes best fresh, so pairing it with a nut or other type butter is the superfood power snack you’ve been looking for!
Greek Salad With Apples – This twist on a traditional Greek Salad sweet Rave® apples that complement the salad’s savory flavors just perfectly.
If you taste a Rave® apple, please tell us what you think in the comments section or on social media via #RaveApples. And don’t forget to go follow Rave® Apples on Instagram! Just search for @Raveapples for positive content, uplifting stories and plenty of apple puns! We can’t wait to delight you with this delicious apple!