Honeycrisp. The very name makes your mouth water! That crunchy, juicy explosion of flavor is unmatched by any other apple. It’s popularity has skyrocketed over the last decade. And we hear the question over and over again, “When will the Honeycrisp be in?”
Well they are in. We began to pick them last weekend. And they are as great as ever! But this apple, that has become the favorite of many of our customers, took a long time to come to the table. Believe it or not, the Honeycrisp apple was developed at the University of Minnesota in 1960! And at one point over the following years it was almost discarded. In 1974 it was finally given a name, “Minnesota 1711”, and given the go-ahead for further testing. Fourteen years later it was finally patented and named “Honeycrisp”, and the trees became available for the first time in 1991. That’s 31 years after it was first discovered!!
In 1995 a fruit tree salesman that I knew well stopped in one day. “Tom there’s a new apple available and you need to have some on your farm” he said. Honeycrisp? I had never heard of it before. “What does it taste like?” I asked him. “It isn’t the taste,” he said. “It’s the texture and the juice running down your chin when you bite it!” He assured me it was unlike any apple I had ever had. I ordered 100 trees for the following spring. Four years later we picked the first fruit. They were awesome! But how would we introduce people to them? Only one way to do that. Hand them one and have them try it. They were a hit!
So just why are they so juicy? Because the cells in a Honeycrisp apple are almost twice as big as cells in any other apple! That makes the texture and juiciness stand out above all the others. And the sweet yet tangy flavor is great too! I often think that no two taste alike. And they stay crisp and juicy even on your kitchen counter(although refrigeration is recommended).
So that’s a little history on what has become our most popular apple. Next week, I’ll tell you a little about the challenges that come with growing Honeycrisp apples. And try to answer the question, “Why do they cost so much?”
Have a fruitful week!