The highly anticipated release of the first apple ever bred in Washington state is here: Cosmic crisp apples are available for purchase at some stores in western Washington.
Locally, QFC's University Village location in Seattle and Sterino Farms in Puyallup got shipments on Sunday. The best way to see where they're sold is to follow Cosmic Crisp Apple on Twitter.
Although Washington state grows the majority of the United States' apples, it's the first apple ever bred here. It's expected to be a game changer.
Already, growers have planted 12 million Cosmic Crisp apple trees, a sign of confidence in the new variety. While only 450,000 40-pound (18-kilogram) boxes will be available for sale this year, that will jump to more than 2 million boxes in 2020 and more than 21 million by 2026.
The apple variety was developed by Washington State University. Washington growers, who paid for the research, will have the exclusive right to sell it for the first 10 years.
The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because of the bright yellowish dots on its skin, which look like distant stars.
The new variety keeps for a long time in storage and in the refrigerator, said Kate Evans, who runs the breeding program at Washington State University.
And it's an exceptionally good "eating apple," she said. "It's ultra-crisp, very juicy and has a good balance of sweetness and tartness."
Cosmic Crisps are a cross between the disease-resistant Enterprise and the popular, crunchy Honeycrisp varieties. The Honeycrisp, nicknamed "Moneycrisp" by some growers, was the latest apple to spark a big buzz in the United States when it was introduced a couple of decades ago. It was developed by the University of Minnesota.