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Expectations are high for upcoming ‘SweeTango’ crop

Next Big Thing, A growers’ cooperative lays claim to the “SweeTango” being the perfect fall apple. It’s crisp, incredibly juicy and distinctively flavorful; everything a great apple should be.

Theron Kibbe, executive director of Next Big Thing, explained that “SweeTango’s story began at the University of Minnesota.

“That’s where expert apple breeders — using time-honored horticultural techniques — struck gold by marrying the Honeycrisp and Zestar! varieties,” explained Kibbe. “Soon after came the creation of the Next Big Thing, a cooperative of 44 growers across North America selected to cultivate ‘SweeTango.’”

20130917-FH-SweetTango-04‘SweeTango’ apples are crisp, incredibly juicy and distinctively flavorful. (Photo courtesy of SweeTango)The cooperative consists of stewards of the practice of apple growing, and includes some of the best apple growers in the world. Only members of Next Big Thing can grow “SweeTango,” which maintains its top quality and ensures that it is “the best apple around, year after year,” noted Kibbe.

Lovers of the “SweeTango” report that the satisfying crunch and complex, yet sweet and tart flavor combination make it a superior apple-eating experience.

The apple is crisp and sweet, with a lively touch of citrus, honey and spice.

Introduced in 2009, “SweeTango” is a seasonal apple harvested in early fall. Kibbe said the trees continually grow larger and produce more fruit.

“Next Big Thing cooperative members continue to improve their horticultural techniques in order to grow a premium apple that consumers have come to expect,” he said. “As a managed variety, ‘SweeTango’ apples are produced using only the highest quality sites and growing practices.

“The apple has high demand from consumers and retailers alike,” continued Kibbe. “We have passionate fans and they often tell us on our social networks’ facebook.com/sweetango; twitter.com/sweetango and; instagram.com/sweetango_apple, where they’re finding the apple and they share their favorite ways to enjoy it.”

This year’s crop brings more good news to the cooperative. Kibbe said it’s extremely healthy, juicy and — thanks to nature — it’s ready a little earlier in certain parts of the country compared to previous years.

“Due to extreme heat, ‘SweeTango’ apples in the West have a slightly smaller size profile than last year,” he noted. “The Midwest, East, and Canada have had great growing conditions, save typical weather concerns like hail and frost.”

Kibbe pointed out that “SweeTango” is a seasonal apple available each fall. It is typically in Washington state stores from mid-August to early September. In the Midwest, East and Nova Scotia, it is available into December.

“Taking our combined crop into consideration, we expect to be able to sell through the first week in January,” added Kibbe. “Consumers and retailers alike are looking forward to this year’s ‘SweeTango’ season.”