University of Minnesota Debuts ‘First Kiss’ Early Apple

University of Minnesota Debuts ‘First Kiss’ Early Apple

‘First Kiss’ is an early harvest variety with a tart flavor. (Photo: University of Minnesota)

The 27th variety released by the University of Minnesota’s fruit breeding program, ‘MN55’ (aka, ‘First Kiss’), will make its debut this fall. The variety boasts a scarlet color and a tart flavor. While ‘First Kiss’ is a new name, ‘MN55’ is not entirely new. Stemilt bought exclusive rights to market ‘MN55’ as ‘Rave’ in 2016. Growers within Minnesota will sell the apple as ‘First Kiss.’ Part of the appeal to ‘MN55’ is it is an early-season variety and ‘First Kiss’ is a play off its early harvest. ‘MN55’ is a cross between ‘Honeycrisp’ and an unreleased cultivar from the University of Arkansas known as ‘AA44.’

“With ‘First Kiss,’ we got the best of both worlds,” explained David Bedford, a Research Scientist in the UMN’s Department of Horticultural Science. “Its crisp texture and spritely flavor make it an excellent choice for fresh eating, and its early harvest date means Minnesota apple lovers can enjoy their favorite Minnesota grown fruit sooner than ever.”

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The University of Minnesota included this video in its announcement: