Rave Apple Review

"The Knockoff Brand Honeycrisp"

Very Good
Rave Apple

The snappy new Rave Apple (or “First Kiss” Apple if you prefer your fruit names to contain a touch of pre-pubescent sexualization) is a discount brand Honeycrisp. Buying one of these slightly lumpy, slightly off-colored, slightly dull, outlet store apples is like buying a Coby television – sure it plays your favorite shows but something about it is just…off. In fact, at first bite, the spritely snap, wonderfully thin skin, and incredible juiciness of this apple might convince less discerning chewers that their thrifty ways have finally elevated them into the echelon of their highfalutin neighbor, Steve, with his fancy Honeycrisp Apples and LG OLED 65” television set. Ah but, the Cinderella story quickly dissipates as the flavor in your mouth melts away faster than the vibrant colors on your shit-box of a TV.

If all Honeycrisp Apples were to disappear from the Earth in some kind of fruit rapture, I would recommend the Rave Apple as a serviceable replacement. However, until the Second Coming, it is best to shell out the extra one dollar per pound and avoid this slightly less sweet, slightly less tart, slightly less pretty budget apple.

BONUS POINTS: +1 Crispness, +1 Density, +1 Skin

Branding / Consistency




Red Apple Icon



Red Apple Icon



Red Apple Icon


Honeycrisp x MonArk


Univ. of Minnesota




Late Summer – Early Fall


Munching / Bad for Baking


First Kiss (in Minnesota)

21 thoughts on “Rave Apple Review”

  1. Looked up info on this one (which I haven’t found to try yet) and they claim it’s supposed to run tarter than Honeycrisp; it’s a cross between that and a sour variety. Maybe another where season and/or growing conditions have a significant effect on flavor?

    1. I’ve tried these apples straight off the tree and, as with most apples, they are always more flavorful. Unfortunately, those won’t be the way most people eat an apple.

      1. Lucky you! I’ve had many a fresh apple off the tree, but largely the knobby, scabby little abandoned/volunteer heirlooms which abound here. Only a few newer cultivars off of backyard trees (without knowing which they were) and certainly not from real orchards!

        1. Just encountered this apple. Meh. It is quite juicy, but also quite flavorless. I would give it even lower marks than thee have.
          This is the first time I have read reviews on your website, having just stubled upon it today. You, “TheAppleist”, are a hoot! Love your humor. And, for the most part, I completely agree with you.

    2. I have to disagree with the reviewer. Maybe I get better apples here in Minnesota straight from an Orchard, but First Kiss are wonderfully tart apples. Perfect for apple pies.
      No more having to blend different varieties together for a perfect pie. This one does it (and I use 1/2 C sugar rather than the full cup a recipe calls for because I like my pies a little tart).

  2. Your review is spot on.I bought a small bag of Rave apples at Trader Joe’s and was so excited to try them because of the description on the bag – “outrageously juicy with a refreshing snappy zing”. I am unimpressed and disappointed. Yes they are juicy, but I never got the zing. The sweet-tart burst I was hoping for is just, well, sour, with very little sweetness to redeem it. The rest of these apples will be doctored-up applesauce or apple cake. I am actually relieved to find your website because I thought I had purchased a bad bag of apples!

  3. I love these apples. The crispness and the sparkle in fabulous. I enjoy that they are a little less sweet than a Honeycrisp. But then again, I live in Minnesota and we produce the best and sweetest Honeycrisp in the world here.

  4. Great site! Love your comments.
    Just one question, though, on Rave/First Kiss. Everywhere I look, those sites say that this apple is another product from the U of MN’s apple program. Rave is name of the apple when it’s grown outside of MN, and First Kiss signifies that is MN grown–maybe it has a different flavor. I know the honeycrisp’s taste is different when grown in the upper midwest compared to a place with warmer winters.

    1. Most definitely an apple will show slight variation depending on region and grower. If not because of a farmer’s skill but also due to packaging, transportation, weather. So many factors can affect an apple. It even varies season to season. One year, there may be a forest fire near the orchard, the next it might be overly rainy. Even though I factor “consistency” into my rankings I have to judge the apple based on its breed across the board. To do this, I will try to taste test apples when I travel and I always judge each apple based on the best one I can find. As for the name, I have a feeling First Kiss is simply gonna disappear and it’ll be just known as The Rave as the years go by.

  5. I just purchased a bag of Rave apples. Very disapointed- juicy but no flavor at all. (the reason I looked them up)
    Now I know that I’m not alone

  6. The information on this page is wrong, and blatantly contradicted by a page you even link to https://mnhardy.umn.edu/first-kiss-rave
    The First Kiss /Rave apple was developed at the University of Minnesota, and if you can get them fresh off the tree in Minnesota, they’re the best apple in existence. Unfortunately, they don’t travel well, which is why you get these mediocre reviews from people who’ve only had them after they’ve taken a ride in a semi truck.

    1. It was developed at Univ or Minnesota but they are licensed and grown in Minnesota and Washington. I can change the origin. Is there anything else that’s wrong?

      I have had the Rave apple off the tree in Washington State at the orchard. 79 is a good score. If I thought the apple was mediocre I would give it 9pts lower.

      That being said, not everyone has the luxury of picking an apple straight from the tree and from the consumer’s perspective I have to judge an apple by what they will actually be buying and consuming from the grocery store.

  7. Great website. You really do need to come to MN and try a MN grown First Kiss apple. I think you’ll conclude the two ought to be graded separately.

    I’ve had Raves when I’ve been out of town and looking for an FK. They don’t compare.

  8. Got these apples at Trader Joe’s because they sounded fun. I was going to use them for a cheese board at a party but they were all so terribly sour I decided I couldn’t serve them to guests. I tried the first one and thought I must have gotten a bad apple but they were all equally overwhelmingly sour (and I had a Granny Smith tree in my yard growing up so I’m usually tolerant of sour ass apples). The texture was good but I couldn’t get over the taste. I won’t be straying from my mainstays again!

  9. As Frank noted, there’s a reason that the MN grown version of this gets separate (and exclusive) brand licensing. If you’re lucky enough to have access to First Kiss, don’t hesitate. I’d rank them right up there with SweeTango and Honeycrisp. I’ve never bothered to try Rave, but I don’t doubt it pales in comparison. Pitting Washington-grown apples against MN or NY apples just isn’t a fair fight.

  10. I’m so surprised by these reviews sincei just tried Rave for the first time (bought from a Wegmans in NYC) and I like it way more than honeycrisp! I like a tarter apple which this is, but more importantly it has an “apple-y” flavor that is more complex than many new apples. Maybe I got some that were straight from the tree? I think it’s great and exactly as advertised. I like it better than honeycrisp!

  11. I bought these apples not really knowing the type. When I tasted one I was immediately turned off by the taste. It is juicy yes but has a really disagreeable taste to me at least. I will stick with cosmic crisp.

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