The Sweetest Apple in the World

Ellie Wilson

MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist

Apples are a diverse and delicious fruit – they can be different colors, grown in different areas around the country and the world, and range from tart to sweet. Always nutritious, packable and snackable, an excellent source of fiber and Vitamin C, they are versatile and worth including in sweet and savory dishes.  One variety rises above the rest for sweetness – the KIKU, a natural mutation of the beloved FUJI apple. Discovered by chance in a Japanese orchard by an Italian apple grower in 1990, and introduced in the US in 2010, KIKU apples have a devout and growing following, with moms and chefs alike getting to know this newby. KIKUs are only grown in 3 states in the U.S., and our partners at CMI Orchards in Washington state are one of the premier growers sharing this treat with our shoppers. They are considered the sweetest apple in the world, scientifically verified to have a higher sweetness than most apples on the BRIX scale, a well-recognized sweetness measure.

KIKU is very versatile – appealing to children and adults, it is a great apple for cooking, having the desired crispness for pies and desserts, even roasting and sautés. Being naturally super sweet, crunchy and juicy, it is easy to add to sandwiches, salads, and savory dishes. How about grating into cole slaw as a topping for pulled pork, or baking to naturally sweet perfection and mashing as homemade applesauce or baby food? No need to add sugar with this sweetheart of an apple, which is important to families and individuals looking more closely at added sugars and eating well. It is also a great value – they tend to be on the larger side, easy to cut up and share, and keep well for about 3 months in the fruit crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The beautiful ruby red striped skin of the KIKU is Insta-worthy as both an ingredient and decorative element in a salad, dessert or making a cameo appearance on your cheese and charcuterie board.

Other ways to enjoy – think about slicing and layering a KIKU apple into a grilled cheese (sourdough bread, sharp cheddar, peppery arugula, sweet KIKU apple, YUM). Taking that simple sandwich up a notch, it is great for dinner, as an appetizer/slider, or sharing with a friend. Or, catch up to the current home baking trend and sub into this apple dumpling recipe a sweet treat with a quick, easy prep, and you can reduce the brown and cane sugar in the recipe by half.

For every KIKU box of apples sold, CMI Orchards will donate to the First Responder charity of choice on behalf of Price Chopper | Market 32. Stock up on these sweet treasures while they last and crunch your way to a delicious day!