On the right, its up-and-coming offspring hybrid, the SweeTango. Annoying name, good apple.
I’ve read that Honeycrisp apples are cultivated so widely that there is quite a bit of variation, while SweeTango growers all belong to a closely regulated association and are therefore more consistent.
The two apples above were plucked from side-by-side bins at Whole Foods Market. The Honeycrisp cost more than $2 for one apple. Yipes! The SweeTango was a little over a buck.
How do they compare?
The Honeycrisp had that great texture — more like extra crisp watermelon than like a typical apple. Its abundant juiciness segued well into its characteristic flavor of tangy apple cider.
The SweeTango was firmer, but still had that porous, bursty texture. The analogy that comes to my mind: these apples are matte, while Fuji and Gala are glossy. (The McIntosh is like an old Polaroid.)
The flavor of the SweeTango is quite different — sweeter and more puckery, with a spice-forward personality. It’s almost like a natural version of that sour apple liqueur that people used to drink before cocktails got good.
I love both but, considering the price, will likely buy more SweeTango this season.
– by John Kessler for the Food & More blog