After two decades, it’s finally time to get acquainted with the apple you’ll rave about. The Rave® apple is the brand name for a brand-new apple variety, called MN55. It’s part Honeycrisp and part MonArk, a varietal from Arkansas, and with a harvest date earlier than any other apple in Washington State. Rave® will be your new signal apple season has arrived.
What’s so special about Rave® apples?
There’s so much to tell you! Because of its MonArk parentage, Rave® likes the summer heat and matures weeks earlier than other apples. This is great news for those of us that love apples! It has a beautiful bright red-over-yellow color and that famous Honeycrisp bite we all know and love. Rave® is also outrageously juicy with a refreshing snappy zing. Sounds like the perfect late summer apple, right?
How did Rave® come to be?
Rave® was developed through a traditional breeding method of crossing pollen of the flowers of two apple varietals (Honeycrisp and MonArk). This happens in nature and it takes several years following the cross before a new apple is born. Researchers make thousands of crosses every year – and as you might guess – most apples are discarded on the journey to find the few (like Rave®) that have the ‘wow’ factor to stand out in the apple crowd.
Rave® is the third success story from a researcher who works for the University of Minnesota in the apple breeding program. Rave® follows a very notable succession and comes from the same breeder who also created Honeycrisp and SweeTango®.
Now that this is the fifth season Rave® has been on the market, the apple is more widely distributed and easier to find. For those of you that find a Rave® apple this year, my advice to you is to enjoy it as a fresh snack on its own. This apple is so juicy and refreshing (and its juiciness is why we don’t recommend baking/cooking with it)! You could also try Rave® as a crisp bite on a green salad or paired with your cheese of choice (I can see the charcuterie boards already!). We hope you enjoy Rave® as much as we do!