The odds of an apple making it from the testing stage to the grocery shelf are extremely long. There are perhaps 5,000 to 7,000 apple varieties in the world today, but only about 30 to 40 are commercially grown worldwide and slightly fewer in Washington state. Apples are evaluated on taste, appearance, storability, cost, how quickly they rot, and ease of growing.

Despite the long odds of making it, there is one apple Evans has been working on that she’s super excited about.

“I have to talk about the new Cosmic Crisp. I mean, Cosmic Crisp is typically a red apple that is ultracrisp,” she explains.

The new apple is a cross between a Honeycrisp and an Enterprise. It’ll be commercially available in the US within two or three years, and Washington growers are betting that it’ll be a winner — they’ve planted 600,000 Cosmic Crisp trees this year and Evans expects some 5 million more trees to go in the ground next season.

So while the Cosmic Crisp could wow us in the West, who knows how Chinese consumers will react to the new shape and color. Ultimately, that will partially guide business, and growing, decisions in Washington state.

Article by Jason Margolis,