When I toured a commercial apple orchard a couple years ago, I was struck by the grower's reverence for the Honeycrisp apple and its overwhelming popularity. Everyone, it seems, is looking for the next great apple — and I'm always willing to try new varieties vying for the spot. Crisp and sweet with a wonderfully balanced tartness, the SweeTango apple is a contender to watch for.
A cross between the Honeycrisp and Zestar! varieties, SweeTango has bright white flesh and fire-engine red skin with golden speckles. I love apples that balance their sweetness with a good amount of acidity — Pink Lady is one of my favorite varieties — and SweeTangos are pretty much the perfect blend of floral sweetness and refreshing tartness. But the sharp, satisfying crunch of biting into one of these apples may be the best part. Like the Honeycrisp, the SweeTango has a crisp juiciness that feels like an apology from the universe for every mealy, soft, dry Red Delicious apple you've ever had the displeasure of eating.
Bred by the University of Minnesota, the SweeTango has only been around since 2009 and because the season is quite short, you may never have seen one before. But distribution expanded last year, so keep your eyes peeled in the produce section of your local grocery store. This apple is definitely one to try.
Have you ever tried SweeTango apples? What are your favorite apple varieties?
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)