Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Honey Crisp apples are definitely one of my favorite apples and they are quickly becoming a favorite all over the world.

Very similar in appearance to the Jonagold variety but they are flat on the top and bottom instead of oblong. This distinction is one of the only ways to distinguish these two varieties of apples apart. They have a fantastic flavor and a noticeably "crisp" skin. You could peel the skin off with a paring knife and bite into it and it would be crisp like a cookie wafer. Amazing!

In markets where Honey Crisp apples are available they regularly outsell Gala and Fuji apples. Many consumers switch to this variety once they have had the pleasure of their first taste.

Developed by the Minnesota Government's Horticultural Research Center this variety is a cross of 3 apple varieties, a Macoun, a Honeygold, and the third variety is unknown but had also been developed at the same research center and later discarded as an undesirable variety in itself (there are some disagreements about the original varieties that created the "Honey Crisp"). The Honey Crisp was named the state apple of Minnesota in 2006 and they are not genetically modified.

The province of Nova Scotia, Canada has a program in place today to increase the production of Honey Crisp by subsidizing their apple growers on the cost of replacing aging old apple trees with this new variety, recognizing its superiority.

A reason why this variety is not more widely available is it's more expensive retail due to sweltering demand and the high cost of production. The yield per acre is smaller (more culls) and therefore the cost to get this apple to market is much higher.

I highly recommend this apple if you haven't tried it yet. I usually find apples boring compared to all the other wonderful fruits available in the world but this is one exception.

In general, any apple that has excessive oil or wax present on the skin is usually a sign of old age.

Apples are one of the highest ethylene producing fruits in the world (ethylene gas ripens fruit), try not to leave this fruit close to cut flowers because the ethylene gas will ruin them (cut flowers will age rapidly).

Also try not to store apples in plastic bags, if you've purchased bagged apples, remove them from their bag once you get home. The best place to store an apple is in your fridge. You can also put an apple in a closed bag of any kind of unripe fruit to help ripen it more quickly.


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