Long-lasting Cosmic Crisp apple makes its Bay Area debut

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- An apple that has been 20-years in the making is finally in the Bay Area.

The Cosmic Crisp may be the largest launch of a single produce item in U.S. history. It's kind of like Johnny-apple seed on steroids, with its half-a-billion-dollars-plus investments in trees.

The apples were delivered just days ago and some stores are already sold out.

Inside Alameda's Encinal Market, feast your eyes on what horticulturalists call variety W-A 38, soon to be known better by the brand name "Cosmic Crisp."

It was a longtime coming Horticulturalist Dr. Kate Evans explains. "It took 20 years worth of selection, evaluation to get a product we were confident would be good going forward."

Evans led the team at Washington State University that spent years crossing the tasty Honeycrisp apple with the long lasting Enterprise variety. The produce industry has another name for it the "Honeycrisp" because they're selling out so fast.

"Honeycrisp is probably our most popular apple," Joe Trimble, owner of Encinal Market said. "And if people like the Honeycrisp, they are more inclined to like the Cosmic Crisp."

Taste is the bottom line, so we tried out Trimble's theory inside his store with Greg Follrath and Karima Cherif - a couple doing some grocery shopping.

"Very tasty," Follrath says after taking a bite. "I would eat those all day."

Cherif agrees, "very refreshing and crisp. I like it!"

What the produce industry likes is the prospect of harvesting the apples in the fall, and keeping them in cold storage and available for sale for up to a year.

"The thing about the Cosmic Crisp is that we are confident in its ability to come out of long term cold storage in really great condition," according to Dr. Kate Evans. How long they would last in your fridge is not clear because commercial refrigerators aren't opened and closed multiple times per day.
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