WSU names own apple breed

LAURA GUIDO | Evergreen reporter

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WSU researchers have brought their own apple breed one step closer to the market by giving it a name: Cosmic Crisp.

The apple, originally designated WA 38, was named Wednesday following an extensive name-choosing process led by Carolyn Ross, an associate professor in the WSU School of Food Science.

“I think people didn’t realize how much names can influence their purchasing behavior until they started talking about them,” Ross said in a press release.

The ‘crisp’ part of the name refers both to the crisp texture of the apple and one of its parent apples, the Honeycrisp. Cosmic Crisp is a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples.

The apple, according to Ross’s description, features small spots that “look like starbursts,” which is why the word ‘cosmic’ appears in the name.

Ross held focus groups across Washington state to gather feedback during the naming process.

The process of releasing the apple to the public is a long one, said Kate Evans, an associate professor and associate scientist in the WSU Apple Breeding Program. The apple was developed in 1997, and Evans started work on the project in 2008.

Evans managed the final stages in deciding to release the apple to the public.

“Lots of testing is involved before the decision to release it can be made,” she said.

That testing included growing the apple in several different places throughout Washington. It also included testing the quality of the fruit and its taste and how well it can be stored, Evans said.

The apple was rated highly for its sweet flavor and “exceptional storability,” according to the press release.

The university will raffle off its limited number of trees to Washington growers for planting in 2017. The drawing, which has received more than 260 applications, will close May 31, 2014.

WSU will work with Proprietary Variety Management, a Yakima-based company, to develop a logo before the fruit goes on the market. Cosmic Crisp will not be widely available to the public until 2019.