Meet the Cosmic Crisp Apple

Updated: September 22, 2021

Cosmic Crisp apples will be available at grocery stores and retailers throughout the United States in November. If you don't see Cosmic Crisp in the produce aisle, find the Produce Department Manager and ask for it by name. Enjoy your new favorite apple!

Updated: December 4, 2019 10:26 a.m.

They are here! The apples are now in stores nationwide and are selling out fast! Only around 400,000 of them were grown this year, so once they are sold out, they are gone for the year.

Original article continues below: 

You've probably noticed that your grocery store has more variety of apples these days. It's not just all Red Delicious Fuji, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith anymore. That's because the apple industry is constantly working on new varieties of apples to keep up with consumer demand and they're almost ready to introduce a new apple to the world. The new Cosmic Crisp will hit grocery stores in early December and we can't wait to try the new apple in town.

There are around 2,500 apple varieties already, so why do we need a new apple variety? Apple growers and plant scientists constantly work to produce apple trees that are at less risk for disease or changes in the climate like longer summers. They also design food that has a stays fresh longer and has particular characteristics.

What is a Cosmic Crisp Apple?

For the Cosmic Crisp, Washington State University's outstanding tree fruit breeding program focused on an apple that will have a shelf life of about six months, doesn't bruise easily and has a higher level of acidity so it doesn't brown quickly after you cut it.

But the WSU team didn't overlook the taste. The Cosmic Crisp apple is tart and sweet, with a crisp texture that makes it perfect for baking or excellent snacking on its own. And the apple has a higher level of natural sugar, which means you can cut back on the added sugar in apple pies and other recipes.

The Cosmic Crisp apple is a cross between an Enterprise apple and a Honeycrisp. WSU has been developing the new variety since 1997 and they shipped the Cosmic Crisp trees to Washington State growers in 2017. Around 6.8 million trees were planted in 2018, and another approximately 5 million trees were planted this year.

Why is it Called a Cosmic Crisp Apple?

The name Cosmic Crisp comes from the apple's appearance. Although it's a bright red apple, the skin is dotted with lenticels (little white spots) that look like starbursts.

And yes, another trend in apples is creating brand apples or apples that have been trademarked. The Pink Lady apple, developed in Australia and released in the 90s, was the first trademarked apple. Honeycrisp apples are probably the best-known apple brand, trademarked by the University of Minnesota who developed the apple as part of an apple-breeding program at their Horticultural Research Center.

Although it's going to be another couple of months before you can try the Cosmic Crisp, watch for their marketing campaign to see if the new apples will be in your local grocery store.

This post was originally published on December 4, 2019.