New Empress Apple Semi-Firm, Snappy

From the Associated Press

A new apple, described as semi-firm and snappy, with good color, texture and size, has been named Empress by Cornell University’s New York Agricultural experiment Station at Geneva.

The apple, with a pedigree dating back 2 1/2 centuries, is reported similar in appearance and some characteristics to Empire, named in 1966.

However, Empress ripens a month earlier, which is “a real plus,” says Roger D. Way, professor emeritus at Cornell. “It means that quality New York State apples will be available to consumers well before many other varieties.”

The parents of Empress are Jonamac and the new Jersey-bred Vista Bella. Jonamac is a cross of the McIntosh and Jonathan.

Way said: “Unlike many varieties that produce well every other year, Empress is an annual cropper with consistently good yield. An the apple is the product of a relatively small tree, enabling growers to plant more trees per acre, thus increasing profits.”