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Meet the Cosmic Crisp — a new hybrid apple 22 years in the making

by ace
Meet the Cosmic Crisp -- a new hybrid apple 22 years in the making

It is an apple release that is out of this world.

No, it's not the latest iPhone – the flagship product coming on sale from Sunday is Cosmic Crisp, a stained hybrid apple that has been under construction since 1997.

Step back, Red Delicious, Gala and Pink Lady. Cosmic Crisp is being advertised as crisper, juicy and long lasting than any other apple on the market.

It's the uber-apple of creator Bruce Barritt's dreams – and it took the Canadian gardener more than two decades to realize it.

"It started 22 years ago when we felt that the current apples for sale were not the kind of quality consumers really wanted," Barritt told CTV News.

Through Washington State University's apple-breeding program, Barritt led a team of scientists in the quest for the perfect blend of apple varieties.

Tens of thousands of varieties were created in search of the perfect apple – a fruit that would be crisp but sweet but long lasting and equally capable of being enjoyed fresh or used as an ingredient in recipes.

The researchers found the sweet spot when they pollinated the company, an apple known for its shelf life and toughness, with Honeycrisp, which brought the flavor Cosmic Crisp would need. The result of this cross-pollination was WA 38, the code for the apple that would later become Cosmic Crisp.

The name "Cosmic Crisp" has been chosen in focus groups by consumers who have been struck by red fruit light spots such as wine and wine. According to the Cosmic Crisp website, the apparition "reminded the outer space and cosmos tasters."

So what makes the perfect apple? Barritt said what people tend to care about most is the taste and texture. And both are more complex than one might think at first.

"Texture is the most important – firmness, sharpness and juiciness," he explained. “Firmness is when you bite, how hard is it. You don't want much, but you don't want to. Sharpness is how it breaks when you penetrate it, and of course we know what juiciness is. Succulence … makes the mouth look much better. "

Cosmic Crisp takes the "crisp" in his father's name, Honeycrisp, but according to Barritt, the nickname is appropriate.

"When you bite this apple, you will hear a popping sound," he said.

In terms of taste, most apple varieties are usually sweet or sour, Barritt said.

"This is a beautiful balance of sweet and sour."

But one of the main reasons Cosmic Crisp should outperform other apples that ripen at a similar time in late September – like Red Delicious – is how long it can stay fresh.

"It's beautiful on the outside, but it's also beautiful on the inside because the white color doesn't turn brown – or it turns brown, but very, very slowly," said Barritt.

Cosmic Crisp is higher in sugar and acidity, which aids in shelf life. If the fruit can last longer in storage, it may not only serve as a fresh snack during the off-season months, but may also be a better ingredient for recipes.

"Consumers demand fruits 12 months a year," said Barritt. “They want good apples – not soft, not chewy, not dry, not tasteless. And this particular variety is probably the only one that comes out of cold storage … 10 or 12 months after harvest (e) is very good after long term storage and is unique.

Although it may seem that the world is receiving the Ocean's eleven dream team, an apple, Canadians should not yet celebrate. Today, the apple is hitting stores – but only in the US.

Barritt explained that there are not enough apples yet. Currently, apples are grown exclusively in the state of Washington.

"There are only 450,000 boxes, which sounds like a lot, but it's a small amount," he said. "The 2020 crop will definitely be sold in Canada."

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