Two new apples to hit upstate farmers' markets

Aug 2, 2013

After more than a decade of development, Cornell University has introduced two new apple varieties to upstate New York. Launched at Field Day in Geneva on Thursday, Ruby Frost and SnapDragon will be available to consumers as early as this fall.

Previously known as New York 1 and 2, the new varieties are easier for growers to produce. They’re also designed to have major appeal to to kids says Susan Brown, the developer behind the two apple types based at Cornell’s Department of Horticulture.

RubyFrost, which ripens later in the fall and stores well, is comparable to Empire and Granny Smith.
Credit Susan Brown/Cornell

Brown says SnapDragon will be popular with consumers and growers alike because it’s a hybrid of the much loved Honeycrisp apple, but in addition to the easier production, can be grown for more months out of the year.

But, it’s Ruby Frost, an Autumn Crisp cross, that will be popular with parents trying to fill kids lunchboxes.

“The reason for the cross was to produce non-browning fruit that don’t brown when you cut them which is important for kids in school lunches. Cornell research has showed that kids eat much more apples, maybe 70 percent more if they’re sliced than if they’re whole. So for toddlers, for day cares, it’ll be huge.”

But don’t expect to get your hands on the new varieties just yet.

Instead of releasing them publicly Cornell will retain the intellectual copyright in the varieties and license them to the New York Apple Growers group.

If you want to try them, head to your local upstate farmers market in the fall, because it’ll be another year before they make their way onto the shelves of local supermarkets.