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Rave apples play off of the sweetness and crunchiness of its Honeycrisp parent. The skin is bright red over a yellow background, while the flesh is white. The texture is crispy and extremely juicy. The taste is very sweet, but with some more acidity and tanginess than Honeycrisp.
Rave apples are available in late summer.
Rave apples are one of the newest varieties of Malus domestica on the market today, marketed by Stemilt Growers. This is a University of Minnesota early-season variety, which is slowly being introduced commercially. The first Raves were available in limited quantities in late summer 2017, with more predicted for future years. Rave’s parents are the popular Honeycrisp and another early-season variety called MonArk.
Apples such as the Rave are low in calories and high in nutrients such as Vitamin C and dietary fiber, which support the immune and digestive systems. Apples also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, which may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
This apple is meant to be eaten fresh out of hand, and improves if it is served cold. Pair with cheese such as brie or blue, add to a charcuterie plate, slice into salads, or chop up into a summer fruit salsa. Raves do not stand up well when heated and fall apart when baked or cooked.
Apples are generally thought of as a fall fruit in the United States. The development of Rave apples, however, is pushing the apple growing season even earlier, providing consumers with fresh apples in the late summer months. Raves are the first apple harvested in Washington State, where they are grown and picked in late July.
The Rave apple was first a cultivar at the University of Minnesota called MN55, developed by David Bedford (who also bred the Honeycrisp and the SweeTango) in 1997. The first Raves were released to market in 2017. As more trees come into production, increasing numbers of Raves are planned to be released. Rave apples are grown and marketed exclusively in North America by Stemilt Growers in Washington State.