Meet the Rave Apple

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.

So, what’s so special about the Rave™ apple? There’s so much to tell you! Because of its MonArk parentage, Rave™ likes the summer heat and matures up to two 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?

The story of how Rave™ came to be is pretty neat too. It 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!

I’ll admit Rave™ won’t be the easiest apple to find this August and September, as the number of apples we’ll harvest and pack will be limited. The good news is our founding family, the Mathisons, love this fruit and will be growing more in the future. Give us a year or two and we’ll have plenty of Rave™ apples to share!

For those of you lucky enough to 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!).

If you taste a Rave™ apple, please tell us what you think in the comments section or on social media via #RaveApples. We can’t wait to delight you with this delicious new apple!


30 Responses

  1. Will any of these RAVE Apples ? find their way to South Florida? Or hopefully to the PMA in New Orleans???



    • Hi Matthew, not sure about South Florida, but we should have a few at PMA!

    • Hi Kate, we haven’t tried that yet so not sure. It’s best for fresh applications, not only because of its juice/texture, but also because of its price. It would be better to find a true juice apple (Macintosh, etc.) for sauce/apple butter in my opinion.

    • Hi Jay! We sure would like to! We have a limited crop this season, but Meijer will be a great place to check. If not this year, then hopefully next!

  2. Wow! This is the best apple I have ever tasted? We just picked 6 of these large apples, and they are the juiciest apples we have ever eaten! I love the stand-alone Honeycrisp, but these definitely surpass them. We are heading back to the store to pick some more up before they are all gone.

    • Wow!! Thanks for the amazing feedback, Jason. Yes, go stock up while you can. Would you mind sharing where you purchased these??

  3. Wow, these are great.
    I was seriously bummed that Berkeley Bowl were out of Jazz apples. These are normally the only apple that I eat. I picked up a couple of varieties that I hadn’t previously heard of, including Rave. The Raves were just great. The ideal blend of sweet and tart, with lots of juice, and a beautiful crisp texture. I’ll be eating Raves from now on (assuming that they’re regularly available).

    • Hi Peter, I’m so glad you found and enjoyed Rave! It’s a very limited season item, so be sure to scoop up as many as you can right now!

  4. Have to agree, ranks up there with best I’ve ever tasted! Purchased at local grocery chain outside of Boston

    • WOW, thank you so much. That is a wonderful compliment. So glad you enjoyed Rave too!

    • Hi Jean! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any to Alaska this year. Hopefully next when we have a larger crop!

    • Hi Marcy, unfortunately we are all sold out for the season! However, we did ship them to The Fresh Market in Kentucky, so I would check there ASAP! Hope you find them.

  5. Just had a couple of these. These apples truly standout with how juicy and bright they are. I’ve never had an apple that was literally gushing with juice. The texture is also quite unique. Its got a snap, but (probably because of all the juice) it also has a ‘softer’ snap than many of the other apples.

    Personally I found this apple to be a tad sour on the back end – if that could somehow be softened, then I think this would be the perfect apple. Still a favorite otherwise!

    • Thanks for that awesome feedback, Justin. I’m so glad you were able to enjoy Rave! It is a tart apple, but I think that sourness is something that will subside as the tree matures. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Found the Rave apples at my local Hy-Vee in south central NE. The name caught my eye and I instantly had to try it. When I first tried it my mind went to Honeycrisp, I absolutely love Honeycrisp apples. I researched the name and found this website where it says it is part Honeycrisp. I think I found my new favorite apple! It goes great with PB!

    • Hi Tabetha! I’m so glad you were able to try and enjoy our new Rave apple. We are excited to grow it, and bring you even more next year! Thanks for sharing.

  7. We are in the suburbs of New Orleans (Metairie, LA). I bought a couple rave apples to try and we love them! They are delicious- I’m going to go buy more tomorrow before they’re gone.

    • Hi Jennifer, thank you for sharing these raves for our new apple, Rave. We are so glad you loved them!

    • Possibly! We are all sold out now, but did ship some to The Fresh Market in SC. Hopefully there is one near you and they are still in stock. Good luck!

  8. I love apples and enjoy trying different varieties. The Honeycrisp has been my all time favorite. I found the Rave apple at our local Sprouts market . This is an incredible apple, with notes of a Winesap apple. So I now have two #1 apples. They are pricey, but my husband and I share one every day because they are so big. We figure spending more on a quality apple is better than buying prescriptions. Ellen Goodnight

    • Thanks so much for this wonderful feedback, Ellen. I’m just thrilled that you loved Rave and couldn’t agree with you more about apples being a great choice for healthy living!

    • Unfortunately we are all sold out for this year, Andrea! Check back in early August for stores in your area.

  9. Will consumers be allowed to buy Rave trees?Or will they be like Sweet Tango and only available in stores ?


    • Hi Ken! Rave is like SweeTango in that it is a managed variety. You can contact the University of Minnesota (who owns the MN55 plant patent) for more information on purchasing trees. Thank you!

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