If Granny Smith apples are a little too tart for your liking and you find Galas a little too sugary, a new apple that arrived on Sunday promises to be just the right mix of tangy and sweet.
The Cosmic Crisp apple has been generating quite a buzz for a while now — because it's been in development for over two decades. Grown and bred by Washington State University's tree fruit breeding program, the Cosmic Crisp is a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp apples, but they look more like Red Delicious.
According to those who developed the fruit, the new apple is described as being both firm and crisp, with a balanced flavor that's a bit tarter than a Honeycrisp. The large, juicy apple is not only good for eating plain, but its heartier texture also makes it ideal for baking.
The Cosmic Crisp website says that the apple's flavor profile will allow chefs and home cooks to reduce sugar needed in recipes, since the apple was cultivated to have higher levels of natural sugars.
Cosmic Crisps were also designed to last longer after being picked and, when kept at about 32 degrees, will maintain their texture and flavor for up to 10 months.
Better yet, the apple was also designed to brown more slowly than regular apples after slicing since it has a higher level of acidity.
Each Cosmic Crisp apple has about 72 calories, which is in line with most ready-to-eat apple varieties.
The Cosmic Crisp apple gets its out-of-this-world name from the starbust-like pattern on its red skin — which supposedly resembles the cosmos — as well as its tie to the Honeycrisp.
Growers will harvest the apples from the end of September through mid-October, then let the fruit rest for a brief period to allow its full flavor develop. Starting on Sunday, Dec. 1, farmers began shipping Cosmic Crisp apples out to grocery stores across the country.
While Red Delicious was long the most-grown apple in the U.S., a 2018 report from the U.S. Apple Association found that Gala had taken over the No. 1 spot. It remains to be seen if the Cosmic Crisp will unseat Gala as the country's most beloved apple, but plenty of consumers can't wait to get their hands on these apples.
Though the apples are now available at major retailers like Kroger and Walmart, according to Cosmic Crisp's director of marketing, Kathryn Grandy, only 450,000 boxes were shipped out. Next year, the company anticipates more than 2 million boxes will be sent to retailers.
In addition to whole apples, Cosmic Crisps will be available in pre-sliced Crunch Paks. Litehouse Foods has also crafted a Cosmic Crisp-branded cider.
This post was originally published Sept. 25, 2019 and has been updated to reflect that the apple is now available.