New Species of Apples Emerge

By Kelsey Braun

Staff Writer

Have you heard of the two newest types of apples, RubyFrost and Snapdragon? As apples become ripe and ready to pick, Central New Yorkers learn about two new species of apples, the RubyFrost and the Snapdragon. Local apple grower from the U-Pick apple farm Navarino Orchards, Patrick Nolan, explained that the new apples seem to be getting a lot of attention from customers. Mr. Nolan says RubyFrost and Snapdragon are picking up fast; “people on Facebook don't stop bothering me about when they are going to be ready.”

Many students in Jamesville-DeWitt High School don't know what these two new ‘species’ are, but still love apples. Freshmen Leah Ivanick and sophomore Alexandra Scibilia say that Empire is their favorite type of apple, but they would be interested in trying the new flavors. Just like Scibilia and Ivanick, senior Marion Maxwell also would be interested in trying the new apples, even though she likes Fuji best.

Junior Owen Volk does not have a favorite apple flavor, but he enjoys going apple picking. Freshmen Alex Payne does not go apple picking but she is interested in trying RubyFrost and Snapdragon. Students like to pick their apples at Beak and Skiff, Navarinos, and O’Neills Apple Orchards. Freshman Maddy Sullivan says she would not be interested in trying the new apple flavors, while sophomore Janna Stephens, and freshmen Hadar Pepperstone would be interested in trying the new flavor as well even though they like other apples.

Apples take a long time to grow because they have to go through a lot of tests before they can be picked by customers. The two new apples will not be in grocery stores until 2015, according to the International Business Times. In the beginning they will mostly appear in grocery stores located in New York, because that is where they are originated.

According to NPR, it used to take up to 40 years to create a new apple species, but now with higher and newer advancements in technology, apples can be created within a decade. The RubyFrost apples took 17 years to create, and the Snapdragon apples only took 12 years. It takes such a long time, because the apple makers have to mix flavors and qualities of existing apples to make a new one, says NPR

According to Vinny Sicignano, one of the owners of Navarinos Apple Orchards, Honeycrisp apples seem to be the most popular ones to pick this season, but Snapdragon don't fall far behind. Snapdragon apples are a mixture of Honeycrisp and another apple flavor, but since they have the crunchy and tart qualities of Honeycrisp, they are becoming very popular as well.  Snapdragons are fully grown at the end of September so they are ready to pick by October. Both of the apples are equally favored, its a tie between which one is prefered more. “It’s hard to say because it’s the first year they have really picked up; it’s almost right down the middle,” Nolan explains. “I hear more peoples opinions about Snapdragons right now, but I have plenty of people bothering me about the RubyFrost.”

The RubyFrost apple is a mixture of Braeburn and Autumn Crisp. Many people think RubyFrost is similar to Granny Smith, and Empire apples. There juicy, tart, and sweet qualities make them a crowd favorite. “The RubyFrost is a slight bit tarter,” explained Mr. Sicignano. According to Cornell University apple researchers, they have a resistance to browning, which means after being sliced they won't turn brown, which makes them perfect for school lunches.  At local U-Pick apple farms, RubyFrost apples are not able to be picked until mid October.