If you haven’t yet indulged in the mammoth honeycrisp apples currently appearing at East End supermarkets—now is the time.
Honeycrisps are not cheap at $3.99 per pound, but these incredibly crisp, juicy and delicious treats are only available from September—February, and the most recent batches are reaching beyond-softball proportions, each weighing in at around 10-16 ounces. They’re also healthy (zero Weight Watchers points!) and make for a terrific, guilt-free snack that’s totally satisfying, even for those with a sweet tooth.
Introduced to the salivating public in 1991, honeycrisp apples (Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’) are the result of cultivation and crossbreeding at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station’s Horticultural Research Center (at the University of Minnesota). This treasured apple cultivar is known for its sweet/tart flavor, its firmness and explosively crisp, yellow flesh. Its texture is a pleasure to bite, thanks to the honeycrisp’s unusually large cells (according to a 2011 article in The New Yorker), which burst with juice when ruptured.
The apple also holds up very well over time, especially when stored in a refrigerator crisper drawer. The honeycrisp patent (1988) notes that it “retains quality and texture for up to 5 months at 34 [degrees],” so proper storage could enable one to eat the apple for 11 months of the year. Interestingly, the name “honeycrisp” was also trademarked by University of Minnesota, which earned $10 million in royalties from the patent, before it expired in 2008.
History lesson aside, the honeycrisp is absolutely unrivaled in crispness, juiciness and taste. Few apple lovers will enjoy another variety more—it’s even likely to convert those who aren’t fans of the fruit—and honeycrisps don’t get much better, or bigger, than they are in February.
Go to the local supermarket or produce seller and pick up at least one, beautiful and unbruised honeycrisp over the weekend, or certainly by the end of next week.
September is a long way from March.