Illustration by Neven Mrgan

New Apple Alert! Behold the Cosmic Crisp®: A Taste Odyssey

Heather Arndt Anderson  – November 1, 2019 | Updated November 4, 2019

Get ready, pomophiles, because the Cosmic Crisp apple (more clinically known as WA-38) is set to launch on December 1, 2019 and we are here for it

Breath: bated. Loins: girded. Phasers: set to ‘stun.‘ 

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Cosmic Crisp is the first new apple variety in more than 20 years, which already has our hearts going supernova; more importantly, it’s the first created by pomologists (botanists who specialize in fruit) in Washington. Reppin’ for the West! 

The story has all the makings of a sci-fi movie: under threat of global apple domination by Japan and New Zealand, in 1994 the American apple industry and growers from Washington State (where more than half of all American apples are grown) decided something must be done. They sought to win the apple version of the Space Race, so the Northwest’s own Neil Armstrong of sorts began fornicating apple flowers by using pencil erasers for cross-pollination. Through decades of dauntless trial and error, they reached the final frontier. A collective “HUZZAH!” was heard echoing across the land. 

Cosmic Crisp apples are a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp, and they get their galactic name from the tiny golden starburst lenticels (plant pores) twinkling across their Mars-red skin. The apple has well-balanced sugar and tartness, with medium-dense crispness, and juicy (but not watery) flesh, making it an outstanding choice for eating raw or baking. In pies, the sugar content in the juice easily turns to sweet syrup during baking. 

Photo courtesy of Proprietary Variety Management

Thanks in no small part to the apple’s multimillion dollar marketing budget, people are already going completely nuts over this apple (mmmm…nuts and apples), and you’ll be able to get your hands on some soon to try with your favorite apple recipes. They can only be grown by a handful of approved growers, though, and unfortunately, trying to start them from seed won’t yield the results you expect—apples don’t usually come true from seed. This means that the fruit produced by the tree grown from seed won’t usually resemble the original, desirable fruit; this is why most apples are grown by grafting. No need to get mad about it—besides, in space no one can hear you scream.

Look for Cosmic Crisp apples in December 2019.