The U of M's new apple, SweeTango, just hit retail shelves: It's the offspring of the U of M's Honeycrisp and Zestar apples, which means it combines Honeycrisp's crunch with Zestar's bolder flavor. I had a SweeTango last year out at the U's breeding site and thought it was the best apple I'd ever tasted. So of course I raced out this a.m. and bought a couple from the Uptown Lunds (they're not cheap--$2.99/lb). The store only had a few dozen of the apples on display, and they seemed to be going fast, so I'd recommend calling first before you rush over there.
I was surprised to find that the apples looked somewhat different from the one I had last year, more closely resembling the red-yellow coloring of a Honeycrisp than the even pinkish tone I'd tried last year (pictured). And the bite seemed a little different, too: it had an excellent crunch, lots of juice, with a bolder flavor than Honeycrisp, just as I'd remembered--but the finish seemed more tart, approaching Granny Smith levels. Would a better name be TarTango?
I like a tart apple, but I'm not sure most people do...this apple struck me as one that might be a little unapproachable for most customers, a thought that last year's apple didn't evoke. I imagine there are many characteristics that affect an apple's flavor--the tree's age, growing conditions, when it was picked, etc.--so I'm curious to see if other SweeTangos will have the more balanced sweet-tart flavor.