Honeycrisp apples have often been referred to as America’s sweetheart apple, creating a rush to buy them beginning in mid-September. Some pick-your-own Michigan orchards have several dozen cars lined up to pick Honeycrisp apple the first day they’re declared ripe.
Commercially, Riveridge Produce packs and ships more Honeycrisp apples than any other packer in Michigan.
Honeycrisp apples have a bicolored appearance with a mottled bright-red blush over a yellow background. It has been called explosively crisp, because its cells hold more water than other apples.
Its firm bite and mildly sweet flavor make it a favorite for fresh snacks. It is also popular for cider, salads, baking and applesauce, and stores well.
Honeycrisp was developed by breeders at the University of Minnesota in the 1950s, and known as Hybrid 1711. In 1979, the single Honeycrisp tree was marked for discard – until a new researcher thought he’d give the variety a couple-year reprieve. Soon the tree began producing what the researcher called crisp “Asian pear-like fruit.” And the rest is history, of course.