Grown in Washington State, it’s the platonic ideal of an apple from the first, crunchy bite

A bicycle basket filled with shiny red Cosmic Crisp apples
Image provided by Proprietary Variety Management

Behold the Cosmic Crisp, the first new apple variety to be introduced in 20 years. Developed and fine-tuned by a team of pro-horticulturists at Washington State University’s tree fruit breeding program, this apple is ready for a starring role—especially following the multi-million dollar marketing campaign that’s been amping up apple fans and grocery retailers for months.

The apple, more formally known as WA-38, is a cross between a Honeycrisp and an Enterprise. The name comes from the constellation of tiny lenticels (pores that allow the apple to exchange gas with its environment) scattered across the ruby-red skin of the apple. Carefully cultivated by Bruce Barritt and Kate Evans at WSU, the apple can last for up to a year when properly stored at the ideal temp of 32 degrees (your crisper drawer should do the trick). And, despite all these traits, the apple is non-GMO—it’s purely the result of precise breeding. 

So, does it live up to the hype?  After all, it’s just an apple, right? The answer is yes.  Not only is the Cosmic Crip a beautiful specimen—Snow White’s shiny, red poison apple comes to mind—but also it’s the platonic ideal of an apple from the first, crunchy bite. 

Here’s what to expect from Cosmic Crisps:

Taste and Texture 

The flesh of the Cosmic Crisp is crunchy without mealy density. Each bite is very juicy—both acidic and very sweet. The flesh itself is an unblemished, snowy white, a color that never changes—the apple barely turns brown after exposure to oxygen, even after hours sitting on the cutting board. (We tested it, and it’s actually shocking to see so little browning on the flesh.)

How to Eat It

This apple is perfectly tasty on its own, whole or sliced. And, its firm flesh doesn’t break down and during cooking, which makes it a great option for baking, sautéing, roasting, or any other cooking method. Sub them into one of these excellent apple recipes and see for yourself.

Where to Buy

West Coast locations of grocery stores like Safeway, Costco, and Whole Foods should have the product in by now (check the website for a full list of stores where the apples are available). Cosmic Crisp is currently selling for $3.49 per pound, which is about $.50 more than its parent, Honeycrisp. Learn more about Cosmic Crisp here