SnapDragon apples hitting stores

- How do you like them apples? Meet the SnapDragon, the newest variety in the apple family that's related to and (dare some say) better than the Honeycrisp.

Tom Wickham, manager of Wickham's Fruit Farm in Cutchogue, on the North Fork of Long Island, is a member of a New York State grower-owned organization that develops exclusive, flavorful varieties.

"Honeycrisp is one of the parents of SnapDragon in a crossbreeding program," he says. "Honeycrisp is a good apple but it's subject to diseases. A lot of problems to grow. It's a runt kind of tree. SnapDragon is not only a better apple, it is also an easier tree to grow and to manage."

The SnapDragon is a mix between a Honeycrisp and a numbered apple that isn't for sale. Wickham planted about 500 of these trees in 2013. The apples are mostly red with little white spots.

Premium apples like macs and empires sell for $10.50 for a 4-pound bag. The super-premium apples like the Honeycrisp and now SnapDragon go for $12. They sold out here in two weeks.

Wickham's Fruit Farm plans on releasing RubyFrost, another new variety that's a little bigger and sweeter than the SnapDragon. SnapDragons will be available in select stores through the end of the year with RubyFrost set to hit shelves at the beginning of next.

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