The honeycrisp is a hybrid apple developed for cold climates. The University of Minnesota holds a plant patent on the apple and controls its propagation and sale. The Fuji apple was developed in Japan and is popular in Asia. Most of the Fuji apples in the United States are grown in Washington state. Both apples are sweet, crisp and juicy. They both store well.
The honeycrisp apple is a 1960 hybrid of Macoun, a Canadian apple similar to the McIntosh, and honeygold, a cross between the golden delicious and the Haralson. Horticulturalists developed the honeycrisp at University of Minnesota. It is illegal to propagate or sell the honeycrisp trees without the permission of the Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science.
The Fuji apple was developed in the 1930s at the Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, a small town in Aomori Prefecture, the Japanese apple-growing region in the central part of Honshu. A cross between the red delicious apple and the Virginia Rawls Genet apple, the Fuji appeared on the American market in 1962 and is the fourth-most popular apple in the United States, after red and yellow delicious and the gala apple. China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest producer of apples, and 80 percent of its apples are Fujis.
The honeycrisp was developed to be cold hardy and do well in the northern tier of states that have harsh winters. The skin of the honeycrisp is mottled red over a yellow background. The honeycrisp has coarse, cream-colored flesh and a mild flavor. It can last up to six months in refrigerated storage. It grows well when it is grafted into dwarf rootstock. The apples ripen evenly and can be harvested at once or over an extended period.
The Fuji has a pink, speckled flush over a greenish-yellow background. It is a sweet, juicy apple with a crisp, dull white flesh, good for both eating and cooking. The Fuji has the outstanding quality of remaining crisp, sweet and juicy for weeks without refrigeration and for five to six months if it is refrigerated. This makes it a favorite for commercial growers and retail outlets.
The tasters at Pick Your Own reviewed the qualities of 35 popular varieties of apples. They concluded honeycrisp makes the best apple juice and Fuji makes the best applesauce.