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University of Minnesota's MN55 has been named Rave™. <b>(Courtesy Stemilt Growers)</b>

University of Minnesota’s MN55 has been named Rave™. (Courtesy Stemilt Growers)

The newest apple variety developed by the University of Minnesota, MN55, will be sold under the brand name Rave.

Seventeen years in the making from original breeding to final release and licensing, MN55 is a cross between Honeycrisp and an unreleased variety called MonArk.

It carries the flavor and quality attributes of Honeycrisp, while MonArk provides the ability to ripen early yet color well and maintain a crisp, juicy texture through the summer heat.

In Washington, MN55 has been the first apple to ripen, coming off the tree in late July, according to Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, Washington, which holds the license to grow, pack and market the fruit in North America.

“Rave is a powerful brand name for apples, and one that we know will leave a lasting impression on consumers, especially after they bite into one,” said David Bedford, research scientist for the University of Minnesota apple breeding program.

The university also developed Honeycrisp and SweeTango.

“We are beyond excited about the chosen brand name of our newest star apple. The Rave apple has explosive flavor and with its early harvest timing and dessert qualities, it will reinvent the month of August for the apple category,” Stemilt marketing director Roger Pepperl said in a statement Sept. 23.

Stemilt successfully introduced its Piñata! apple to the marketplace back in 2009 and also supplies the West Coast with SweeTango. The company expects to have small volumes of Rave apples to market in 2017 and is in the process of developing a logo and packaging.