(CBS Seattle) — Apple lovers will soon have a new variety to enjoy and it could become a competitor for the Honeycrisp.

Researchers Washington State University are currently developing a new fruit known right now only as ‘WA 38.’ It’s described as juicy and has a ‘crispy crunch’ similar to the Honeycrisp, according to the Tri-City Herald. Researchers say it is sweet, but also has a bit of tartness. In early tests done by the university, taste-testers preferred WA 38 to the Honeycrisp.

The fruit was first cross-bred in 1997 and WSU is just now getting ready to distribute the trees to local farmers, so consumers likely won’t see WA 38 in the produce isles until 2019 or 2020.  It’s taken that long for researchers to test and grow the fruit and make sure it’s something consumers would want. University officials say the apple will have a more catchy name by the time it’s ready for sale in grocery stores.

Farmers will also like the new apple because it is bred specifically for growing conditions in Eastern Washington. It is less susceptible to sunburns and is easier to grow than the Honeycrisp. The fruit also stores well and doesn’t brown as quickly as other apple varieties.

WA 38 will be the first apple from the university’s breeding program to be sold commercially.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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