Photo: Mikuni Wild Harvest
It’s the rare fruit that can bring a rollicking party to a record-scratching stop.
When Tyler Gray brings a passel of Mountain Rose apples to a fête, he simply hands one off to an unsuspecting fruit lover and declares, “There’s a surprise inside.”
What no one expects, he laughs, is for a bite of a pale green apple to reveal a hot pink interior.
“It’s a party favorite, that’s for sure!” says Gray, the owner of specialty foods retailer Mikuni Wild Harvest. The first year he offered this varietal, which is originally from Japan and which Gray says is grown by one small farm in Oregon’s Hood River Valley, he sold 1,000 apples. Their popularity has exploded, and this year he expects to sell 10 times that amount.
What does a hot pink apple taste like? Pretty much like a regular apple.
We sampled a few Mountain Roses, and although Gray is correct that they have a slight “front palate strawberry flavor,” we didn’t pick up the “cotton candy background” he detected. These are more like Granny Smiths—tart, crisp, and just a tad sweet—and would sure make for a grand looking tarte tatin.
And a fairly expensive one. The fruits clock in at $28.95 for three pounds (8-10 apples, about three bucks a pop). Gray might say that’s not a bad price to pay for “Mother Nature at her finest,” however, and that the Mountain Rose apple season is super short; they’ll only be available for the next six weeks.
Got a favorite type of apple? Let us know!