GENEVA — Red Jacket Orchards is taking a bite of the Big Apple.
The local business debuted an exclusive apple, the SenecaCrisp, at the New York City Wine and Food Festival in October, where it was the star ingredient at chef Jonathan Waxman’s table at the Greenmarket Brunch. Now, the SenecaCrisp also is available locally, at Red Jacket’s farm store.
“I think for most people right now, the sexiest apple right now is the Honeycrisp,” said Kelly Foster, Red Jacket’s marketing director. “[The SenecaCrisp] is the only known parent of the Honeycrisp. ... There’s a way that the cells collect the water. It’s a crisp that you don’t find anywhere else.”
While the SenecaCrisp preserves that crispness, it does not have the high sugar content of the Honeycrisp. That gives it a taste more tart than sweet and makes it a classic New York state apple, Foster said. She thinks people will appreciate its flavor, which she described as rich and aromatic.
Brian and Mark Nicholson, members of the family that owns Red Jacket, have been focusing on the SenecaCrisp for about 10 years after planting it as an heirloom crop, Foster said. The SenecaCrisp is a descendant of the Northern Spy, which originated in the Finger Lakes and proved popular 100 years ago.
Red Jacket harvested about 200 bushels of SenecaCrisp apples this year.
“Each year, we hope to get more and more,” Foster said.
And as the number of available SenecaCrisps grows, Red Jacket hopes to increase the number of places where people can buy them. Foster said Red Jacket will try to get them into local stores, such as Wegmans.
Foster said the initial reaction to the SenecaCrisp has been good. She heard good news from someone who attended the New York City debut.
“He said, ‘I’ve never seen people react to an apple that way, just being so excited,’” Foster said.
She hopes the apple will become a signature product for Red Jacket.
“We have the trademark,” she said.
The Nicholsons grew the SenecaCrisp as part of a 10-acre heirloom planting. They have harvested 10 heirloom varieties grown on modern stock roots.
For more information, visit http://redjacketorchards.com.