Honey Crisp: Who’s Your Daddy?

It’s another cool, bright, brisk September day which makes me want to sink my teeth into a cold, crisp apple.

One of my favorite fresh-eating apples is the Honey Crisp. True to its name, it has great crunch, with a firm golden flesh that’s juicy and sweetly tart, but wait–there’s more to chew on. According to the University of Minnesota apple breeding program, the Honey Crisp was created in the 1960s by crossing Macouns with Honeygolds and introduced to the public in 1991 to help revitalize the sagging apple growing industry.

Here’s a twist: According to the Apple Journal, DNA testing conducted in 2004 stirred up questions about the apple’s true parentage. It was confirmed that the Keepsake, another progeny of the University of M, is one of the parent, but the other is still unidentified. Lil’ apple, who’s your daddy?

Just the other day, just by total coincidence, I got an email about a new varietal named SweeTango, the love child of cross breeding a Honey Crisp with a Zestar. The SweeTango, despite its goofy name, promises an intense crunchy bite within a thin sheafed skin that is bursting with caramel flavor.

For now SweeTangos are only available through select retailers in Chicago, Seattle, and Rochester, NY (I know, not even NYC!).  So for now, we’ll just have to drool in anticipation.


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