University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Zestar Description

Great Crisp Taste

The most outstanding feature of a Zestar!® Apple is its sprightly sweet-tart taste with a hint of brown sugar. And, unlike other early season apples that are often soft or mealy, Zestar!® is juicy with a light, crisp texture. Just one bite, and you will savor the zesty flavor and crunch.

Zestar!® Ripens Early

Growers and apple lovers will delight in this tasty apple that ripens so early in the season. Under Minnesota growing conditions, Zestar!® fruit ripen in late August to early September, about the same time as Paulared®. It's the perfect way to start the apple season on a good note.

Exceptional Extended Storage Life

Zestar!® Apples maintain their great taste and crunch for 2 months in refrigeration. For consumers, this means an apple that will give them a zesty crunch after hours in a lunchbox, days in a fruit bowl, or even weeks in a refrigerator.

Apples-Zestar-Description-imageGood Eye Appeal

Zestar!® Apples are nice and round, with an average diameter of approximately 3 inches. Their color is 60-85 percent red depending on exposure to the sun. Where the sun shines on the fruit, a bright rosy-red blush develops. Shaded areas are often creamy yellow. One Minnesota grower, who usually sees nice red color on at least half of each fruit, pointed out, "My customers don't care what it looks like, once it passes their lips!"

Zestar!® Is Cold Hardy

University of Minnesota (U of M) research scientists have tested Zestar!® trees through harsh Minnesota winters as well as severe cold conditions created in laboratory freezers to determine that Zestar!® has the hardiness to perform in northern apple-growing regions.

U of M High Quality Family Heritage

For generations, the University of Minnesota has taken great pride in developing high quality apples. Since 1878 when our breeding efforts began, we've brought you 24 new apple varieties including Haralson, Fireside, Honeygold, Regent, Sweet 16, Honeycrisp, and SnowSweet®. Zestar!® was introduced in 1999 from a hybridization of State Fair x MN 1691. We're confident that you will be pleased with this flavorful, crisp apple.

Expanding Availability

This fine variety is patented (Minnewashta, USPP 11,367) and presented as the trademarked Zestar!® Apple. Nurseries licensed to propagate Zestar!® trees have reported increasing sales to orchards. Orchards who have been growing Zestar!® are selling out their stock. We expect availability and demand to continue to increase, not only because Zestar!® is a great apple, but also because the U of M intends to help promote this apple as greater supplies become available.

Be sure you crunch into the potential success of Zestar!®

SnowSweet® (Wildung cultivar), Zestar!® (Minnewashta cultivar) and SweeTango® (Minneiska cultivar) are registered trademarks of the University of Minnesota.