Mouth-filling juiciness with a refreshing tartness
The First Kiss™ apple (MN55 variety) was developed through traditional breeding (not GMO) by the University of Minnesota, from a cross between Honeycrisp and AA-44 (an early ripening apple from Arkansas). First Kiss™ apples were bred to have Honeycrisp juiciness and a refreshing tartness, while also being one of the first apples to ripen in the fall. Their very crisp texture along with tart to well-balanced flavor offers an incredible eating experience. The First Kiss™ brand name is reserved exclusively for fruit produced by apple growers located in Minnesota (apples from the MN55 variety grown outside of Minnesota are being marketed as Rave®).
Early to ripen; extended storage life
The First Kiss™ apples ripen on average in mid-to late August in Minnesota, kicking off Minnesota’s apple season almost a full month earlier than Honeycrisp. In addition, First Kiss™ apples have an unusually long storage life for an early ripening variety.
MN55 apple trees have been shown to be winter hardy in USDA Hardiness Zone 4 but have not yet been adequately tested in colder areas.
Commercialization and licensing for propagation
The MN55 variety is being released as a “managed variety” and only growers located in Minnesota may be licensed by the University of Minnesota to grow this variety and market the fruit as First Kiss™. After completing a license agreement with the University of Minnesota, growers may contact licensed nurseries to place orders for tree propagation. Tree orders may be placed only with nurseries licensed by the University of Minnesota.
To inquire about the licensing process, please complete the First Kiss Growers Application. A representative from the Office for Technology Commercialization will follow-up to start the licensing process.
Phase of Development - Available