The University of Minnesota has done it yet again!

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 beautiful scarlet color and a tart, tasty flavor.  While ‘First Kiss’ is a new name, ‘MN55’ is not entirely new.  Growers within Minnesota will sell the apple as ‘First Kiss’ while it will be called ‘Rave’ at retailers outside of Minnesota.  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.”

While ‘First Kiss’ is new for the rest of the country, Bauer’s Market & Garden Center has had the privilege to have this apple for the last two years.  In 2016, Bauer’s had this apple while still under the ‘MN55’ name and last season it was sold as ‘First Kiss’.  ‘First Kiss’ is definitely one of the tastiest early-season eating apples available to-date this soon in the apple season!

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