Washington takes a bite out of the Cosmic Crisp apple

WA Governor’s Office
Jan 22 · 2 min read

The Washington Cosmic Crisp apple is probably the most famous apple you knew about before actually taking a bite.

The apple, which hit grocery store shelves a month ago, sat on legislators’ desks during Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State speech last week. He referenced the genius of Washington thinking during the event, saying the Cosmic Crisp was one of those big, innovative Washington ideas that became a reality.

The governor congratulated the Washington State University Cosmic Crisp team during his annual State of the State speech Jan. 14, and said he was inspired by the innovation behind the newest Washington apple. The apples sat on legislators’ desks during the speech. (Office of the Governor photo)

The new apple is Washington-grown — but it took about 20 years. Washington State University researchers developed the apple through breeding and extensive testing. The Washington apple industry contributed funds toward the Cosmic Crisp development. That’s why Washington growers are the only ones who get to grow the trees during, or at least for, the next 10 years.

Washington growers started planting the trees commercially in 2017. Apple harvest started in October and the apples started shipping from warehouses last December.

A Washington Cosmic Crisp apple during growing season. (Photo courtesy of Washington State University)

Derek Sandison, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture said the Cosmic Crisp story is another example of Washington not only growing the most apples in the country but the best apples.

“The Cosmic Crisp is a success story that demonstrates how effective partnerships between industry and research facilities can be, making a new, top-quality Washington apple available to apple lovers locally and around the world,” Sandison said.

The new apple made headlines across the country last month, including stories in Time Magazine, Today and the LA Times. The Cosmic Crisp got its name from the little white sparkles on the apple’s skin, reminding consumer focus group members of starry flecks in the night sky.

Ready-to-eat Cosmic Crisps go on sale in Washington during December 2019. (Photo courtesy of Washington State University)

It’s easier for farmers to grow the Cosmic Crisp, especially compared to one of its local parents: the Honeycrisp. This makes the apple popular for growers and consumers.

Kate Evans (who heads WSU’s Apple Breeding Program) and André Wright (Dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences) attended and represented the WSU apple team at Inslee’s speech Jan. 14, 2020.

Washington State Governor's Office

News and updates from Washington state Gov.

WA Governor’s Office

Written by

News and updates from Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration.

Washington State Governor's Office

News and updates from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and his administration.

More From Medium

More from Washington State Governor's Office

More from Washington State Governor's Office

More from Washington State Governor's Office

“Stay Home, Stay Healthy”

More on Government from Washington State Governor's Office

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade