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Crisper drawer tour: why apples are amazing this time of year

apple crisper drawer tour

As we round the corner into 2023, I’m reminded of why I love this time of year in the produce department: the apples.

So many apples are just hitting their stride right now, and what’s funny is most of them in my crisper drawer are some kind of Honeycrisp cross.

I picked up some Envy and Opal for a Christmas fondue party, but the rest that I have (for now, until I pick up something else) trace their lineage to Honeycrisp:

  • EverCrisp (Fuji + Honeycrisp);
  • Cosmic Crisp (Enterprise + Honeycrisp);
  • SweeTango (Zestar + Honeycrisp);
  • Wild Twist (Cripps Pink + Honeycrisp), and
  • SugarBee (Unknown + Honeycrisp).  

I rarely buy just Honeycrisp anymore because the selection of crosses is so choice.

This is also a reminder of our privilege in North America. Apples are amazing here year round — full stop. I have zero problem with an apple that has been in controlled atmosphere storage for months if the apple still tastes amazing. When you combine variety development with storage technology, consumers have a bounty of flavor, texture, and value to choose from.

I’m reminded of some travels to Europe last winter, walking the produce department with ex-pats living in Germany and Switzerland, who were lamenting the apple selection and I had to agree. Apples were mealy and sad looking, and the flavor didn’t deliver.

Part of the reason was the lack of added wax, which keeps our conventional apples shiny and plump on the shelves. Our friend Kaitlyn did an interesting TikTok explainer about waxing apples, showing the natural wax apples have, compared to the commercial wax applied during the packing process.

Of course, the internet being the internet, people missed the whole point that apples naturally have wax, but that’s a battle for another day. If you don’t want to eat wax, wash your apples. Why aren’t you washing them anyway?

For now, my family will be rotating between all the amazing apples winter in the U.S. has to offer.


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.