Baby carrots can stand up to lunch boxes and hours in the car, but apples? Not so much. At least, not until now. There’s a new variety of apple called the Opal Apple that claims it doesn’t brown after it’s sliced. So we decided to see if the hype was real — the promise of fresh-sliced apples any time of day seemed too good to be true.

What is the Opal Apple?

The Opal Apple is a Non-GMO Project verified natural cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz apple. It has bright yellow skin, is grown both organically and conventionally, and is priced anywhere from $.99-$2.99/pound. In season from November through June, the Opal Apple is a great option for school snacks.

Of course, what makes it really unique is that it supposedly doesn’t brown when exposed to air like other cut apples do. This sounds like a lunchtime miracle, as packing apple slices or an apple-topped salad would be wonderful if it weren’t for the fact that apples oxidize and turn an unappetizing brown shade by the time we’re ready to eat them. So we put Opal Apples to the test. Do they actually resist browning and, more importantly, do they taste good enough that we’d actually want to eat them?

The Opal Apple Test

We purchased some Opal Apples and tested them in two different ways. First, we sliced one up, put it in a zip-top bag, and brought it on a hike. Second, we left some Opal apple slices on an uncovered plate in the fridge.

To our surprise, both tests proved that the Opal apple really doesn’t brown. The hiking apples were in our backpack for a couple of hours in near 80-degree heat, and when we pulled them out for a top-of-the-mountain snack, they looked just as fresh as when we cut them. When we returned home, the apple slices in the fridge were similarly unblemished. Looks like the hype is real!

But who cares about whether or not the apple browns if it doesn’t taste good? Well, luckily, the Opal Apples we picked up were delicious. They’re very sweet, but have a back note of acidity to keep things balanced, and the texture is crisp and juicy, and not at all mushy. We’d be more than happy to eat these as an on-the-go snack anytime, and we suspect their firm texture and bold flavor would make them ideal for apple pies and other cooked applications too.

Opal Apples are now available in all 50 states, so if you or someone you prepare lunch for is a picky eater who just can’t tolerate browned apple slices, they might just be worth a try.

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(Photo via Opal Apple/Facebook)