First Washington-bred apple hits stores on Sunday

First Washington-bred apple hits stores on Sunday
Credit: Proprietary Variety Management

The first apple developed in Washington state will hit grocery stores nationwide on Sunday, Dec. 1.

The Cosmic Crisp – 20 years in the making – was developed at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research Center in Wenatchee.

The large, juicy apple is slow to brown and keeps its texture and flavor in storage for over a year. It’s a cross between the disease-resistant Enterprise and the Honeycrisp varieties. The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because of the bright yellowish dots on its skin, which look like distant stars.

Apples are a $2.5 billion a year business in Washington, which grows about 60 percent of the nation’s supply. The state has around 1,500 apple growers and 175,000 acres of orchards.

About 50,000 people pick some 12 billion apples by hand each fall in Washington. The fruit is exported to 60 countries.