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Honeycrisp Apples - A favorite fall fruit


What are Honeycrisp Apples?

A single Honeycrisp apple is a fall feast, a vegetarian delight, and definitely a food of the gods. Mid-September farmers markets, fruit stands and produce sections explode with the tumbling red and yellow fruit coveted by apple lovers the world over, but if you're lucky you will find them at various times throughout the year.

"Don't touch my Honeycrisp" is the battle cry heard in kitchens, lunch rooms, breakrooms and across produce aisles as apple buffs protect their prize in lust for their first bite into the crisp, yet creamy center. Every Honeycrisp lover knows the strange dance of that sweet-against-tart flavor and the hard-to-soft implosion that accompanies the first juicy bite of this apple. We wait for it. We long for it.

Honeycrisp apples have a short season. That patented crisp burst of apple juice that saturates our palate never fully leaves our tastebuds. When the temperature drops and the winds cool, anticipation rises. Apple devotes roam produce aisles and pester clerks and managers . Trust me, there is nothing worse than finding your first Honeycrisp of the year during the last week of their short season.

I am one of many modern Johnny Appleseeds who sing the praises of the Honeycrisp. When I discovered my favorite fall fruit a few years ago I wondered how they'd remained hidden for so long. You may be wondering that, too.

The Honeycrisp


When are Honeycrisp apples in season?

Fall ushers in apples with a little Feng Shui prosperity

Crisp and sweet, the Honeycrisp is a fall favorite. Every time I find Honeycrisps in the produce department I start pulling bags. My friends know to expect a bag of apples whenever they are in season. The kids love them. Why not? They're so juicy and they make that wonderful crunch when you chomp down on them.

If i can find the large ones, I'm really in heaven. I fill bowls to the brim and decorate the kitchen with them. There's something about a big bowl of apples that is, well, comforting. The red color makes everything pop.

Feng Shui and apples - a winning combination

Now, if I were trying out a little bit of Feng Shui, for sure I'd leave brimming bowls of apples all over. Red is a good color and not only for the pop. Red brings favor and is" conducive to success." Maybe I should plant one of the large Honeycrisp apples on top of my checkbook. It could use a bit of good fortune. But apples are good Feng Shui not only for their color but for their name. Apples are considered to be vehicles for peace and harmony. So that whole apple-a-day thing brings a lot more than physical well-being. The next time you're crusing down the produce aisle pick up a BIG bag of apples and put them to work.

Photo credit

Things to know about the Honeycrisp apple - There is more to an apple than you might think

  1. Honeycrisp apples are fairly new. The variety was developed in the 1960s by the University of Minnesota but wasn't released available for sale until sometime in the 1990s.
  2. Honeycrisp apples bruise easily which is why it's always better to buy them when they're packed in a crate. Most produce departments build apple mountains and don't pack them, so double-check your apple before you put it in the bag.
  3. Honeycrisp apples store well and don't lose their crispness.
  4. If you're all about the crunch and crisp, make sure your Honeycrisp apples are from the colder regions. That's where you get that "explosively crisp" crunch. The further south, the less the crisp.
  5. 5 million+ Honeycrisp apple trees are now growing around the world.

Why not order your apples now? - Online shopping for Honeycrisp apples is easy

Name that apple!

Can a Macintosh, a Golden, a Granny's, or any other apple compete with the Honeycrisp? - Choose from many apple varieties

Papio hamadryas eating an apple

Papio hamadryas eating an apple

Everybody has their own favorite apple.

Are you an apple-a-day person? Do you love apples and insist on only having your favorite? Share that special apple with us by taking part in the poll. If I don't have your apple listed, by all means share it. Tell us in the comments so we can give it a try, too.

Even a Papio Hamadrayas loves apples.

Don't worry. I had to look it, too. It's a baboon native to the Horn of Africa. They're from the Old World monkey family. Egyptians considered these baboons sacred, so many know them as "sacred baboons." The point is, this baboon has great taste. He's eating an apple. I'm sure it's not a Honeycrisp because he'd have a big smile on his face it was.

By LadyofHats (took the photo myself) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Remember: Tell us YOUR favorite apple first.

Fruit of the gods

Go apple picking for Honeycrisps in the fall.

Go apple picking for Honeycrisps in the fall.

Honeycrisp apples dominate the world

Honeycrisp apples are the latest fruit of the gods

You can bet there are a lot of Honeycrisp orchards in Minnesota and the surrounding states. The Honeycrisp apple came out of a university program that was focused on creating apples that could tolerate bitter winters and cold weather so you won't find the trees in the tropics. Most orchards are above the Mason-Dixon line and even in the US-Canadian border area. With the Honeycrisp's rise in popularity, Nova Scotia apple growers have embraced the hardy Honeycrisp apple tree with the government's blessing in the way of a renewal program.

Buy Honeycrisp apples online

In addition to farms and orchards, the apples have surged so far in popularity that most people are finding them in their local produce department. I first discovered them at a local Whole Foods. They hadn't made it into the regular grocer distribution chain, but now I see them everywhere during the season. And, of course, if the Honeycrisp apple hasn't made it to your neck of the words, you can always buy them online.

Honeycrisp apples conquer the world as Honeycrunch apples?

Today the Honeycrisp is no longer an American apple or even a North American one. The US patent expired in 2008 and the worldwide patent will soon expire. Honeycrisp apple trees are now growing around the world in Europe, New Zealand and South Africa. You could say that the Honeycrisp apple is responsible for today's surge in apple-eating appreciation. Prior to the Honeycrisp's entry into the market, apple sales and apple appreciation had been on a downhill slide. People were no longer enthusiastic about the fruit once considered to be a necessary item for a healthy life. The Honeycrisp has changed all that. In Europe you may find Honeycrisp called the Honeycrunch apple.

There's a Honeycrisp apple near you!

There's a Honeycrisp apple near you!

Where are Honeycrisps grown?

Visit U-pick fruit farms that grow Honeycrisp apples

If you want the full Honeycrisp experience, find an apple farm that grows Honeycrisp apple trees and go on an apple-picking adventure. In the northern parts of the US, the Honeycrisp apple growers are easier to find. If you live down south or far away, incorporate a visit into your vacation plans. For US apple farms, you can find some orchards here.

Heard in the orchard

"If I could eat nothing but Honeycrisp apples all the time I would be the happiest man on earth." -- Teeknuts via Twitter

"I was out of Honeycrisp apples ... It was an emergency!" -- Studiokdesin via Twitter

Experience the four seasons of the Honeycrisp apple - Nothing like an apple orchard

Follow the Honeycrisp - This is a Honeycrisp apple lover's dream video

Play Honeycrisp Trivia with your apple-lovin' friends

  1. Since 2006 the Honeycrisp apple has been the state fruit of Minnesota.
  2. The Honeycrisp apple helped revive the apple growing industry.
  3. In 2006, Better World Report selected the Honeycrisp as one of the top 25 innovations in over a decade.
  4. 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
  5. The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  6. Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans.
  7. In colonial time, apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
  8. Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.

Honeycrisp apple calories

A big Honeycrisp apple weighs about 8 ounces and will contain about 108 calories, while a medium sized one will have around 80 calores. Honeycrisp apples are a big help if you're watching your weight.

Honeycrisp apples recipe - baking - Slow-Baked Honeycrisp Apples

Eat them fresh or try slow-baking them for a truly sensual treat. The Slow-Baked Honeycrisp Apples recipe was originally published in Bon Appetit in October 2009. You can make this recipe a day ahead and just pop it in the oven until it's warm--about 15 minutes.

A relatively new variety, Honeycrisps have a sweet, mellow flavor. They're very juicy, and when baked long and slow, their juices bubble and caramelize. These baked apples are best served slightly warm, but they are also great served cold for breakfast the next morning, topped with a dollop of yogurt. A V-slicer makes quick work of slicing the apples, but if you don't have one, a sharp sturdy knife will do the trick. -- Dorie Greenspan

For the full recipe, go here.

Grow your own Honeycrisp apple tree

Growing Honeycrisp apple trees

Many apple farms have honeycrisp apple trees for sale. Learn as much as you can because Honeycrisp apple trees are not always easily grown. For the best flavor and crunch, be sure you live in the northern areas. These trees were bred to produce in cold climates. As with many plants, apple trees don't like their feet wet, either, so make sure they have good drainage.

While the patent has expired in the US and there are many more places to buy the Honeycrisp trees, remember that the University of Minnesota developed the variety and has a vested interest in recommending growers who have maintained the desired characteristics. Like most trees, this apple tree wants good sun and good air circulation. Don't be stingy. After the planting it will take five to six years before you reap the harvest. But they're worth it.

Stephen Craven [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Things to do with your Honeycrisp apple

  1. Mixing apple chunks with medications/supplements so horses will eat them. The meds/sups I mean. They'll eat apples with no help at all.
  2. Dry them and make heads out of them for dolls
  3. Use them as Halloween shrunken heads.

    You take an apple and carve eyes, nose holes and a mouth, then thread a wire through the top. Hang it somewhere dark for a week or so until it shrinks and hardens. Apply accesories and you have a shrunken head---looks authentic!

  4. Smelling Pleasurable Foods. One interesting study suggested that smelling certain pleasurable foods may reduce migraine pain. (The study used green apples as part of the experiment; patients with headaches who liked the smell of green apples had less pain. The scent had no effect on those who didn't like the fruit.)
Love this stainless steel cotnemporary wire basket-perfect for apples

Love this stainless steel cotnemporary wire basket-perfect for apples

Honeycrisps and stainless steel - a winning combination

WMF Lounge Collection all purpose 8-Inch round wire basket

The sleek contemporary look is fantastic and the bowl is a real eye-catcher. While I can see it filled with apples, sadly we understand that visual is short term due to the Honeycrip's limited season. But this basket could be filled with so many more wonderful items like pomegranates, clementines and, of course, other seasonal apples. Imagine this bowl filled with bread sitting on the dining room table.

This is not one of those huge bowls. It is 8 inches. But it's a lovely style and would even make a great wedding gift.

Will you die if you don't have a Honeycrisp apple?

Find a Honeycrisp apple tree grower who keeps a cold storage. Honeycrisps will keep in cold storage through April and retain their crispy crunch. Make friends. Extend your buying season.

How crisp is a Honeycrisp? Listen

Tell me what you think - I love hearing from my readers

girlfriendfactory on September 23, 2013:

I looked for some in the store today when a friend of mine was bragging yesterday that she was eating the first one of the season. Alas, I'm still looking!

soaringsis on April 08, 2013:

I have to look for Honeycrisp apples.I like to fry apples for breakfast, such a nice treat.

Rosanna Grace on April 05, 2013:

I've never come across honeycrisps here in Australia. They do sound delicious.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on April 04, 2013:

Very interesting learning about Honeycrips, anything crisp and sweet must be delicious!

Indigo Janson from UK on November 22, 2011:

You sure do love your honeycrisps, Vikk! I don't think I've ever tried one but it's hard to beat a nice sweet and juicy apple. (Pears are also good!) This page is just bursting with apple goodness so I'm leaving you a fruity blessing. :)

yayas on November 22, 2011:

I simply love eating apples. If I had my way, apples would always be available for snack time. Honeycrisp Apples sound like the perfect treat for anytime. Thanks so much for sharing this formerly unheard of (for me) delight.

Malu Couttolenc on November 21, 2011:

I didn't know so many interesting and nice facts about honey crisp apples, will try more of them :)

Malu Couttolenc on November 21, 2011:

I didn't know so many interesting and nice facts about honey crisp apples, will try more of them :)

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