When I was a courtesy clerk at QFC in high school the hot new apple was the Pink Lady. In the years since there have been many new varieties, many of them with silly names like SweeTango and SugaBee, and for some reason people have been going ga ga for the Honeycrisp, a gigantic apple with an excellent texture that tastes like nothing but sugar water. The latest apple sensation, WSU’s own Cosmic Crisp, which is a hybrid the unexciting Honeycrisp and the more exciting Enterprise, has been a hit, and it’s easy to see (and taste) why.
The Cosmic Crisp is a real people-pleaser. The dark red apple, which can last for a full year in cold storage and does not turn yellow, is beautiful, crunchy, juicy, and full of sweet-tart flavor. The Cosmic Crisp is not an earthy apple. Something like a Pink Lady has, in its sweet-tart crunchiness, an underlying “earthy” taste. Sometimes apple eaters may still opt for a Pinky, an Opal, a Jonagold, or plenty of others. This one tastes like apple candy, like an apple loaded with “double apple” flavor. It is very sweet and much tarter and tastier than its parent, the boring-tasting Honeycrisp. Initially, my one criticism is that the apple is much bigger than it needs to be, but since then I have discovered more medium-sized Cosmic Crisps as well.
I have tried this apple plain. I have also tried some kind of Langer’s Cosmic Crisp apple juice, which was also good. I would imagine it would be good in pies and other baked goods, although I would probably prefer a Granny Smith for those applications.
The only apple I compared this to side-by-side was a Cameo. The crunchy sweet Cameo, a hybrid of a Red Delicious and a Golden Delicious, is one of those children that is more attractive than either of its parents, and an apple that is normally very pleasant, seemed overall quite subdued compared to the much more intense-tasting Cosmic Crisp. But don’t throw away those Cameos just yet. Sometimes less overall intensity is a good thing. I can imagine the Cameo being a better fit with, say, peanut butter or cheese.
So far this apple tends to be on the expensive side, but I understand that apple growers are planting lots of these, so these will be reasonably priced in the future. With the Chinese not purchasing our glorious Washington state apples due to tariffs, the Cosmic Crisp is very good news for the apple industry. And you. Crunch.
Texture: crispy, juicy
Color: dark red with bright spots, sometimes golden or brighter red blush
Size: usually XL