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New Apple Variety 'Cosmic Crisp' Could Hit Canadian Grocers In 2020

The beauty is its crunchy bite.

This is one apple release consumers won’t need to fork over an entire paycheck for: the newly invented apple variety “Cosmic Crisp” will soon be available in U.S. groceries.

The fruit is highly anticipated for its deliciousness, so much so that producers are projecting the apple to sell out once it hits the market.

“There won’t be enough for everybody, that’s for sure,” the apple’s inventor Bruce Barritt told CBC.

So-named because its skin looks like twinkling stars, the Cosmic Crisp is an invention 22 years in the making. The apple industry is banking on this new fruit’s star power, with a multi-million dollar marketing budget.

Unfortunately, Canadian consumers will have to wait: Barritt thinks the earliest we’ll see the fruit will be next fall. But, it does have a Canadian connection via its inventor.

What does it taste like?

Barritt, a retired fruit horticulturalist living in Kelowna, B.C., created the Cosmic Crisp while working at Washington State University.

He made the hybrid fruit by crossing Honey Crisp apples, beloved for their sweetness, and Enterprise apples, which are known for their hardy properties. The Cosmic Crisp has been praised for having a satisfying crisp when bitten into.

After Barritt retired, his work was continued by horticulturalist Kate Evans.

“It’s one of those apples that combines all of those nice flavourful attributes, the sweetness, the tartness, with the phenomenal crispness that is fairly rare in apples,” Evans said on the PBS show, “Northwest Profiles.”

The lucky few who have tasted Cosmic Crisp have given it major props for being a pleasure to crunch into.

The Cosmic Crisp’s appearance has some going starry-eyed.

And don’t think this apple is some common Red Delicious, only fit for baking or sitting on your teacher’s desk. In an interview with Good Fruit Grower, David Bedford made it clear that the Cosmic Crisp wasn’t supposed to just be a really good apple; its crave-worthy flavour is supposed to go head-to-head with artificially tasty treats.

“What we’re competing with is yogurt, granola bars, you know, fast foods that are easy to eat and get millions of dollars of promotion,” Bedford said, adding that their apple was aiming for a beyond “This is good for you” status like kale.“We really can be the next level up.”

Although a select number of stores will have the fruit when it makes its Canadian debut in 2020, the true winner is the Washington apple industry; for 10 years, the U.S. state’s growers will be the only ones allowed to sell and grow this variety.

But who knows? A local successor to the Cosmic Crisp could be in reach. Agricultural minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced earlier this year that Canada will invest more than $4 million in British Columbia’s fruit breeders to invent more profitable apples and cherries.

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