What kind of apple costs $3.44 per apple?? Well, I'll tell you: honeycrisp. Yes, I was almost the proud owner of some incredibly expensive apples. However, I decided I didn't need what seemed to be gold infused apples, and they gave me my money back and I went home apple-less.
After I got over my shock, I decided to find out why one needs to decide if they want to make a significant investment when they buy apples. It turns out that although Honeycrisp apples are truly delicious, they are incredibly hard to grow. In fact they are a huge pain in the backside for apple growers. Here are some articles that I read, from which I got my facts. This one as well as this other one . The trees are prone to breaking easily, so they have to be trellised, the fruit can't just be harvested one time when they ripen, instead they tend to ripen at different times, so they are usually harvested three times over the season. Honeycrisp bruise very easily due to their thin skin and even their own stems cause bruising so the harvesters need to hand clip the stems very short. They are also prone to a vast amount of diseases like cedar apple rust, black rot, cork spot, bitter pit, and soft scald.
These very finicky apples also must be stored at very precise temperatures when they are first harvested to prevent a whole host of other problems. This all adds up to extra costs for the grower which of course get passed on to the consumer. I don't begrudge the growers. If I had to mess around with a plant that was that problematic, I probably wouldn't bother. Just like flowers in my gardens, it is survival of the fittest. If a plant is not growing well and has to be moved, or treated specially, I don't waste my time trying to save it. But apple growers know that consumers love the texture and eating experience associated with Honeycrisp apples, so they deal with the hassels of growing them.
However, at $13.74 for four apples, I decided I didn't need to be an apple "foody". I was really only planning on cutting them up to take them to work as part of my lunch. I can certainly do that with a lowly Mackintosh, or maybe a Gala for the fraction of the cost.
In general, I find that groceries are very expensive. Importing produce from other countries so that we can have fresh fruit throughout the year results in expensive fruit and vegetables. I buy berries every week. They are a big part of my diet. But good lord, sometimes they are ridiculously expensive. Sometimes I don't want to spend $4.99 on a tiny box of blueberries, and so I don't, and I stick with just strawberries instead. There are many fruits that I won't buy during the winter months even though they are in the grocery stores. Peaches and melons tend to be hard, tasteless things unless "in season". I grow some of my own vegetables so I don't spend much when my own garden is producing, but of course that is just for a short amount of time. Winter is long here.
So there you go. Honeycrisp are so very good and so very expensive, because they are so very annoying to grow. Happy eating!