Would You Eat a 1‑Year‑Old Apple?
Would you eat a 1-year-old apple? Earlier, the question was, at best, a dare from one preteen to another. Now, with the launch of a new apple breed, which allegedly stays freshly edible in the fridge for up to one year, that question is legitimate food for thought.
The Cosmic Crisp, which is just entering the U.S. market, spent two decades under development since its first cultivation in 1997 at Washington State University in the U.S. It is the result of a breeding technique known as cross-hybridization, which combined the best traits of the Enterprise apple, known for its resistance to disease and to browning once cut, and the Honeycrisp, valued for its sweet taste. The result is an apple with “naturally higher levels of acidity and sugar,” a dusky red coat dappled in tiny white dots — which tasters remarked reminded them of “outer space and the cosmos,” hence, the apple’s name, reports The Guardian.
“It’s an ultra-crisp apple, it’s relatively firm, it has a good balance of sweet and tart and it’s very juicy,” Kate Evans, who co-led the apple’s breeding program at the University, told the BBC. She added that the Cosmic Crisp is slow to rot and “maintains excellent eating quality in refrigerated storage — easily for 10 to 12 months.”
In other words, it’s the perfect Überapple, here to conquer all of the other apples by the simple expedient of outliving them. The Golden Delicious, Yellow Delicious, Pink Lady, Royal Gala — their days are numbered. The Cosmic Crisp will conquer their place at the top of the apple market. We’re looking at the start of a subtle, galactic and internecine War of the Apples.
Humans might be able to stave off this conflict, except the Cosmic Crisp has a guerilla tactic on its side that the other apple breeds can’t hope to combat: enabling human laziness.
How many of us have looked into our fridges, noticed a fruit going bad, and have sworn to eat it so as not to commit waste? Now, we will have no such motivation. We will slowly convert to the ways of the Cosmic Crisp, which will never go bad, so we can always intend to eat healthier without ever having to be guilted into it by a browning fruit.
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For now, the Cosmic Crisp is only licensed for cultivation to farmers in Washington state, the center of U.S. apple production. The first 600,000 trees were sold to farmers there in 2017; “the real impact of Cosmic Crisp sales won’t be felt to the farmer for another two to three years,” one grower told the local news outlet KIMA.
And the real impact of Cosmic Crisp’s place in society will percolate even more slowly, for our future fruity overlord has time on its side. At first, we’ll start saying things like, “An apple a year keeps the doctor not near.” And we’ll catch ourselves, and laugh at the silliness of it — then say it again. And again, until we have forgotten the old ways, the old sayings, the apples of yore. Instead of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” we’ll start saying “the apple doesn’t stray far from the crisper.” We will tell our children about the princess who took a bite of a year-old apple that so invigorated her with its freshness she needed a sedative to be like, chill — but overdosed until a fair paramedic with kissable lips showed up to save her. And before we know it, New York City will become the Big Apple, the City That Never Spoils. Then, everyone will be paying far to much money for Cosmic Crisp laptops. And Matt Damon will be asking how we like them Cosmic Crisps. And the fruit’s domination will be complete.