Sagrario Ochoa reaches to pick a Cosmic Crisp apple, a new variety and the first ever bred in Washington State, in an orchard in Wapato. (AP)

Sagrario Ochoa reaches to pick a Cosmic Crisp apple, a new variety and the first ever bred in Washington State, in an orchard in Wapato. (AP)

Rows of Cosmic Crisp apple trees are seen in Washington State. The trellis system promotes high yields and reduces the labor needed to pick the apples. (AP)

Rows of Cosmic Crisp apple trees are seen in Washington State. The trellis system promotes high yields and reduces the labor needed to pick the apples. (AP)

Edilia Ortega (left) and Reynaldo Enriquez pick Cosmic Crisp apples. The grayish coating is from kaolin clay, used to protect the fruit from sunburn. (AP)

Edilia Ortega (left) and Reynaldo Enriquez pick Cosmic Crisp apples. The grayish coating is from kaolin clay, used to protect the fruit from sunburn. (AP)

Aaron Clark, vice president of Price Cold Storage, peers down at a bin of just-picked Cosmic Crisp apples. (AP)

Aaron Clark, vice president of Price Cold Storage, peers down at a bin of just-picked Cosmic Crisp apples. (AP)

Kate Evans, a lead scientist at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center in Wenatchee, tastes a slice of a Cosmic Crisp apple. (AP)

Kate Evans, a lead scientist at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center in Wenatchee, tastes a slice of a Cosmic Crisp apple. (AP)

Starry Apple

Posted: January 1, 2020

Move over, Red Delicious. Cosmic Crisp has come to town.

Cosmic Crisp is a new variety of apple. It arrived on grocery shelves December 1. It is the first apple ever bred in the state of Washington. What do growers think of the new apple? They have planted 12 million Cosmic Crisp apple trees. Now that’s confidence!

The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because the bright yellowish dots on its skin look like stars.

“I’ve never seen an apple prettier in the orchard than these things are,” says Aaron Clark. He lives in Yakima, Washington. His family owns several orchards. They have planted 80 acres of Cosmic Crisps.

Researchers at Washington State University developed the apple. Apple growers funded their research. Now the apples are getting a lot of attention. And that will pay off for Washington growers. Only Washingtonians are allowed to sell Cosmic Crisps for the first 10 years.

How do you breed a new apple? To create Cosmic Crisps, experimenters combined genes from two apple types: Enterprise and Honeycrisp. Farmers like Enterprise. It resists disease. Eaters like Honeycrisp for its crunch. (Growers nickname this older apple “Moneycrisp.” People love to buy it.) Cosmic Crisps keep for a long time in storage and in the fridge. They are crisp but juicy. They’re tart but sweet.

Nearly 140 million boxes of apples are grown in Washington every year. If you live in America, six out of every 10 apples you eat come from this state. Washington apple business is booming! Still, Cosmic Crisp helps create even more apple wealth.

“A new apple brings excitement,” says Toni Lynn Adams, spokeswoman for the Washington Apple Commission.

Is your mouth watering for a starry apple yet? Don’t worry. The new apple won’t be hard to find once it hits shelves. Marketers will make sure everyone can get their teeth into the new fruit. They want money for their innovation—including yours.