SnapDragon and RubyFrost are the names of two new apples that will soon hit farm stands after more than a decade of development by Cornell University, an industry group announced Thursday.
Cornell has released 66 apple varieties since the late 1890s, including Cortland, Macoun, Empire and Jonagold. Historically, public universities released new varieties freely to growers and nurseries. A federal law passed in 1980 gave them the ability to retain the intellectual property rights for their research with limited royalties.
Brown said SnapDragon gets its juicy crispness from its parent Honeycrisp and is expected to be a popular snacking apple, especially for children. The apple, which has a spicy-sweet flavor, ripens in late September and has a longer storage and shelf life than the Honeycrisp, itself a cross of Macoun and Honeygold.
RubyFrost ripens later in the fall, stores well and has high vitamin C content. Brown said it will be popular with fans of Empire and Granny Smith.
New York, the nation’s No. 2 apple producer behind Washington, averages nearly 30 million bushels of apples annually.
The names of the new apples, formerly known simply as “New York 1” and “New York 2,” were chosen after extensive consumer research and taste-testing. The first trees were planted in 2011, with grocery store sales expected to start in 2015.