SweeTango apple: A crunchy juicy-sweet variety

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As the autumn season approaches, some of the most delicious gourmet apples are beginning to ripen. SweeTango Apples are one variety you might want to keep an eye out for because they’re so delicious!

SweeTango Apples are modern specialty club apples developed to bring out the best flavor and texture available in fresh-eating apples. These gorgeous red apples are known best for their crisp, sweet flavor full of spices and satisfying texture. SweeTango apples are designed to deliver on flavor and texture. The SweeTango Apple was developed at the University of Minnesota and introduced in 2009.

Keep reading to learn more about Sweetango Apples and how you can enjoy them this autumn.

Sweetango apples

SweeTango apple: The basics

The SweeTango Apple is a new apple variety from Minnesota. This specialty cultivar is known for its incredibly sweet and juicy flavor combined with a satisfying crispy crunch. The blush-red peel is generally dotted with small yellow freckles and stripes. This is one apple variety that’s as delicious as it is attractive.

SweeTango Apples look very similar to one of their parent apples, the Honeycrisp apples. They have the same bright red appearance with a shiny gloss when held in the light. Similar to Honeycrisps, under the bright red coloring, there is a happy yellow undertone.

When SweeTango apples are grown on young trees, they will be large in size, but there will be fewer of them. As the tree matures and begins to produce more apples, the fruit will begin to decrease in size unless thinned quite heavily.

“The flavor is too saccharine, too eager to please (I actually prefer Honeycrisp’s vapidness), but the boom-crash of it is like listening to Wagner. This is a whole new organoleptic experience, and a consuming one. Perhaps you meant to take only one bite, a sample, but before you know it you’ve taken another, all those syrupy cells detonating in your cheeks, and then another, juice dribbling down your chin, you just can’t stop crunching, and suddenly you are standing there with a skinny core in your hand, looking for a wet wipe.”

Apples of Uncommon Character: Heirlooms, Modern Classics, and Little-Known Wonders, by Rowan Jacobsen

Origins of SweeTango apples

SweeTango Apples are modern apples produced by the University of Minnesota. Here, some of the leading apple breeders worked together to create what we now know as SweeTango Apples. This variety was created by breeding Honeycrisp Apples with Zestar Apples (another Minnesota cultivar). This was done in an attempt to create an apple with a bold taste and perfect texture.

SweeTango Apple trees were first grown in Minneiska, Minnesota, and have now grown on many different farms in and out of the United States. SweeTango apples were released to the public in 2009 and are now available in many different stores. Although this apple has only been around for a short number of years the texture and bold taste of the apple are making it a very popular and household favorite fruit.

Sweetango apple

What do SweeTango apples taste like?

SweeTango Apples have a bold fruity, zesty taste. These apples are so crisp when you bite into the bright red apple there will likely be an audible crunch sound. As the SweeTango Apple is bitten into, the apple’s flavor will suddenly be released. The taste is sweet, like its name, but also with a touch of acidic tang.

SweeTango Apples continue to release more flavor as they are eaten. These apples are the perfect mix of sweet and sour, all wrapped in a crisp texture. Even their name is a mix of the words “sweet” and “tangy”!

Sweetango apples growing on a tree

Where are SweeTango apples grown?

SweeTango Apples are grown on multiple different farms in the United States as well as in Canada. SweeTango Apple trees can only be grown by commercial growers licensed by SweeTango Apples to do so. Home gardeners cannot currently purchase SweeTango trees for backyard orchards, as this is a “club” type of apple.

Farmers who grow SweeTango apples are licensed and approved by Next Big Thing, which is a Grower’s Cooperation to protect the fruit that is being produced. To read stories from farmers who have chosen to pair with SweeTango Apples and grow this delicious fruit, click on the links below. Each of these farmers has its own unique story and plenty of experience in apple growing.

When is the harvest season for SweeTango apples?

SweeTango Apples are fully ripe and ready to be harvested around early fall, specifically late August or early September. This makes SweeTango Apples one of the first of the larger red apple varieties to be ready during the autumn season. This is also a huge selling point for SweeTango apples, as they are some of the first apples ripe and ready as the summer ends.

How much do SweeTango apples cost?

SweeTango Apples are often sold in small 2lb plastic bags that cost around $4 USD. On average, these bags will hold 8-10 apples. Not a bad deal, especially for such a delicious apple!

SweeTango Apples can be purchased in most supermarkets. If you are interested in finding a store near you that sells this delicious and unique fruit, click the link below to be directed to stores that sell SweeTango Apples.

Click to find Sweetango Apples near you.

SweeTango Apples come into the season beginning in September. They should be sold at your local supermarket from September until around December. It is important to know that these are very popular apples and may quickly go out of stock.

How to grow SweeTango apples?

While customers can purchase and enjoy ripe SweeTango apples, customers are not able to purchase SweeTango apple trees. This is done to protect the rights of the breeders and to ensure the quality production of the apples. While this may be disappointing to hear, it is good to know that when purchasing a SweeTango Apple from the store, it is of the highest quality and produced from a SweeTango Apple-approved farm.

Home gardeners who love the taste of SweeTango might consider growing a Honeycrisp Apple tree instead. SweeTango Apple was bred from Honey crisp, and the two apples are quite similar. Honeycrisp trees are readily available in most nurseries and garden centers.

How long do SweeTango apples store for?

While these apples are delicious and likely to be eaten well before this expiration date arises, it is important to know that SweeTango Apples can be safely stored in a refrigerator for four to six weeks. This gives plenty of time for them to be enjoyed either on their own or in a delicious recipe. For recipe ideas, refer to the section below.

Sweetango apple pie

What recipes are best for SweeTango apples?

Due to their incredible flavor and crisp, strong texture, SweeTango apples are perfect for all of your favorite apple recipes. If you’re looking for a way to spice up the apple pie this Thanksgiving, choose SweeTango apples rather than your normal apple variety. Make sure to add some brown sugar and cinnamon to really bring out the SweeTango pie flavour!

Are you into canning and making your own homemade apple sauce? The bold flavor of SweeTango apples makes them a great choice for applesauce and apple juice and they need little to no other spices to produce a great flavor.

SweeTango apples aren’t the only sweet variety. Here are 40 other sweet apple varieties that pair beautifully with Sweetangos!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.