I picked up a variety called “Envy” at my Local TJ’s. A really amazing apple. Excellent texture, even better crunch than “Honey Crisp”, very sweet and extraordinary flavor.
Basically this is an apple with the texture of Honey Crisp, sweetness of Fuji and a flavor better than either.
Can someone tell me more about this variety? What sort of climate does it thrive in?
It is one of many “club apples”, only licenced commercial growers can grow them.
So far, these are club apples : Ambrosia, Autumn Glory, Cosmic Crisp, Envy, EverCrisp, Jazz, Kanzi, KIKU, Lady Alice, Opal, Pacific Rose, Pinata, RubyFrost, SnapDragon, Sonya and SweetTango.
Among these, only Opal is a yellow apple. The rest have varying degrees of redness in them.
I’ve eaten 6-7 of them. To me, a couple of qualities they share are crunchiness and intense sweetness. Like it or not, buyers in general like sweet, crunchy apples. Look no further than the popularity of non-club Honey Crisp, an inspiration of these club apples.
Growers like us cannot grow these club apples.
There are more and more club varieties these days, other are Evelina (Pinova/Pinata sport), Greenstar, Rubens (Civni) or Zari. If you see they have their own website/FB page you know you cannot get them
I’ve eaten several of those varieties as well. And most are quite nice as mamuang mentioned. Most of them really do have a nice texture to them. The one that stands out most to me and the one I’d most like to grow is Opal. It really does have a distinctive taste unlike any other apple I’ve tasted. With a lot of those club apples, you could eat one blindfolded and not necessarily know which one you are eating. Not with Opal though, it’s very distinct. It has a very floral aroma like seckel and bosc pears and also does not brown when cut. It’s a a very pretty apple.
Who decides which ones are club apples and why can’t growers like us grow it? Is it because the scion wood is hard to come by?
You typically have to buy into a “club” you are only allowed to sell apples to the club and are not allowed to distribute scion wood or propagate trees. Some such as OPAL are owned by one company- Broetje Orchards, others have regional restrictions such as Cosmic Crisp which is only available to growers in Washington state.
In short it’s a way to control the price (clubs claim the priority is appearance and quality of the product).
Its a shame that some of the best new apples are club apples. I guess it helps the growers by keeping the prices up.
I am currently growing some nice apple varieties: various Coxes, Karmijn da Sonnaville, various Russets etc but was pleasantly surprised by an apple I picked up at a store that was this good!
“Envy” and “Sweet Tango” are both awesome apples. Club or not, I’m glad someone made high quality supermarket apples available, again.
No doubt, these new “club” apples are good. But keep in mind that these are being developed with the purpose of satisfying the pallets of the largest number of consumers. In other words its like finding the lowest common denominator which is not the best goal to have if you look to achieve a unique greatness.
I also notice all of these apples described by being compared to other “great” apples to “… just like a Honeycrisp but with…”.
As I said earlier, there is no “unique greatness” in any of these. More like a hodge podge of favorable qualities all thrown together but with nothing that sets it apart.
Although the “club” apples may be the best of the “new” apples, in my opinion they are not necessarily the best apples.
I would not trade any of them for my Karmijn, or my Calville Blanc D’Hiver for even the best of the “new” best.
Mike, where can I get my hands on some of these Karmijn and Calville Blanc D’Hiver apples. I need to tatse for myself what I"ve been missing.
All I can do is send you wood but my espaliers don’t produce pencil thick as they are summer pruned
But, but these readily available
I hear what you say about Karmijn. It is a wonderful apple. I know how good it is.
Envy has the same qualities: extreme sweetness and acidity with a dense crunchy texture. In terms of texture, I would say Envy is even better than my favorite KdS!
I never thought the day would come that I would compare my favorite apples to a supermarket special! And the supermarket apple would win!
I would not turn down a chance to get a taste of Envy, ( Hmmm… that sounds interesting in the non- apple universe) but I am not going out of my way to get one either.
I am sure it is a good apple but how many shoes can you walk in at the same time? Love my tasty uglies and oldies.
Raintree nursery sells a great selection of apple trees including KdS, Rubinette and Queen Cox, some of the best rated apple trees.
Envy has great texture, in my opinion better than Honeycrisp because it is denser. Its also consistently very sweet. Honeycrisp around here can be 11 brix or lower which is not enough sugar for my taste. But the flavor of Envy isn’t exceptional to me. For a sweet apple, I’d probably prefer a good Fuji.
If you want an apple that you know is going to be sweet, and have a good texture, Envy is probably the safest bet. Its one of the few I know my wife will eat. She likes sweet fruit with nearly no acid, and must not be soft.
I agree with Opal, it is also consistently sweet, but more balanced with acid, keeps well and has a very good texture.
Envy is $3/pound in Portland area; when on sale somewhat less. A lot to pay for a basic fruit.
Your mileage will vary of course, and my experiences are still very limited because I need my baby trees to grow up, but if I want a good honey sweet apple the older golden delicious are hard to beat. The problem is you can’t get the older ones in the store anymore it seems and to get rid of a few patches of russetting they made newer cleaner looking apples that don’t seem to taste nearly as good
Trader Joe’s sells them for $1.29 each. Much cheaper.
Yes, Opal is a very good apple. I also like the nice russetting on top of most Opals.