The Making of an Apple


The apple industry responds to consumer demand.


Red and Yellow Delicious were the dominant apples for years, gaining favor for their shipping and storage qualities. But sturdy as they are, these apples taste kind of one-dimensional and have a mealy texture, not in sync with today's preference for complex flavor and crisp texture. So the American apple industry is responding with varieties like the Honeycrisp.


This apple was created at the University of Minnesota by cross-breeding a Macoun and a Honeygold. Tim Byrne, VP of Pepin Heights Orchard in Lake City, MN, describes the offspring as "an apple that explodes in your mouth when you take a bite. It's crunchy, juicy and aromatic all at once."


Before the Honeycrisp was released commercially, it went through intensive sensory evaluation at the university. In 1992, it was offered to orchardists to plant and market and today, it's a big hit with both consumers and chefs. Now Pepin Heights is going for even greater crunch by marketing a cross between the Honeycrisp and the Zestar. This new baby, currently dubbed the "MN 1914," has received rave reviews with taste panels. What's more, it thrives in cold Northern climates, ripens early in the season, stores well and is a good looker. Pepin Heights has hired a branding company to give the new apple a catchy name and trademark; the fruit should be ready for commercial production in about two years.


"There are 45 orchards from Nova Scotia to Washington State that have signed up to grow the apple," Byrne says. "The first 100 bushels will be tested this fall. They will go across the grading line, and then we'll drive the apples around in trucks to see how they hold up in transit." Byrne's goal is to have these apples available only from October through April so flavor and texture will be at their peak.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd screenshot web

A full year has passed since we redesigned FoodService Director magazine, taking the publication from its longtime tabloid dimensions to a more convenient size and more creative design, and recasting the content to provide actionable, peer-to-peer insights and ideas for FSDs.

Now we are thrilled to announce that we’ve extended the makeover to our website as well. The new FoodServiceDirector.com has been redesigned to be more engaging and even easier to use. We’ve made it faster to find information, from recipes to HR best practices, that will help you run your facility better....

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

FSD Resources