FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You have questions, we have answers. Take a look through some of our most commonly asked questions. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help!
Can a consumer buy fruit directly from Rainier?
We do not sell direct to consumers at this time, but our apples, pears, cherries and blueberries can be found in numerous stores throughout the country. Feel free to ask us which retailers stock Rainier fruit products in your area.
What do the numbers on a PLU code mean?
– A four-digit code that starts with a 3 or 4: conventional
– A five-digit code that starts with a 9: organic
– A five-digit code that starts with an 8: genetically modified*
3283 is a conventional Honeycrisp apple
93283 is an organic Honeycrisp apple
*No fruit grown by Rainier is genetically modified.
Is there wax on your apples?
Yes, our conventional apples are waxed. On each bag of apples we have printed a wax statement that reads, “Coated with food grade vegetable and/or shellac based wax to maintain freshness.” You can find this statement located just above the graphic of the Rainier apple bags.
If you are looking for uncoated apples, we recommend that you purchase our organic apples as they are not waxed.
Do you wax your organic apples?
No, we do not apply wax to our organic apples. We have made this a standard practice for our organic program, but this is not necessarily true for the rest of the industry. Any time you purchase an organic apple with a Rainier PLU sticker, you can be assured that you have purchased an uncoated apple.
Is the wax on your apples gluten-free?
Yes, the wax we use on our conventional apples is gluten-free. We do not wax our organic apples.
Should I wash my fruit before I eat it?
We recommend that you wash produce by holding it under running water for 15 seconds before eating.
DO NOT wash produce with detergent or bleach solutions. Fruits and vegetables are porous and can absorb the detergent or bleach, which is not intended for human consumption.
What is the best way to store apples?
If possible, store apples below 40 °F to keep them crisp longer. The produce drawer of your refrigerator is the best place to store apples. Apples ripen almost 10 times faster at room temperature!
If you have large amounts of apples to store, find a cool, dark place such as a basement or garage and cover the box or basket with a clean, heavy, damp cloth to prevent shriveling. Inspect apples prior to storage, and remove any apples with punctures or broken skin.
What variety of apple is in the bag I just purchased?
The variety description is located on the tag that closes the bag.
Can I buy a fruit tree from you?
Growing your own tree fruit can be very rewarding (as we well know!), but we do not sell fruit trees. If you are interested in purchasing a tree, we recommend contacting your local nursery for guidance on the best varieties for your location.
Can you plant seeds from an apple & grow an apple true to its variety?
The answer to your question is both yes and no. Yes, you can plant the seed and grow apples, but they won’t be a duplicate of the Fujis you purchase in the grocery store. The Fuji apple is a cross between a Red Delicious and a Ralls Janet. In addition, the tree requires a pollinator. It’s very similar to having children. The offspring could look more like the mother or they could look more like the father. It’s the same with an apple; you can’t guarantee what the offspring will be. It may be similar to a Fuji, but it will not be a true Fuji. While this example uses the Fuji apple variety, the answer is the same for all apples, pears, and cherries.
If you’re interested in planting your own fruit tree, we encourage you to visit your local nursery first to find out which varieties grow best in your climate.
Can I get a cherry pit to grow into a tree?
You can indeed grow a cherry tree from a seed, but it will not turn out the way you expect. There are two components to commercially grown cherry trees. One is the rootstock and the other is the specific cherry cultivar (i.e., variety) that is grafted onto the rootstock. Cherry trees do not produce a seed that is true to type. That means if you plant a seed it will indeed come up a cherry, but the fruit will probably be small and bad tasting. The best thing to do if you want cherries in your back yard is to buy a tree from your local nursery or from a catalog. The most common variety of dark sweet cherry is the Bing. Keep in mind that cherry trees are susceptible to bud damage from spring frost, so not all regions are suitable for planting.
Where can I find your organic fruit?
You can find our organic apples, pears, cherries and blueberries in numerous retail chains across the nation. Send us a message, and we will help you locate your nearest retailer. Keep in mind that blueberries and cherries are truly seasonal and only available for a short time during the summer months. General availability is listed in the chart below:
What is the correct pronunciation of the different pear varieties?
Here is a pronunciation key of several varieties of pears.
VARIETY & PRONUNCIATION
Beurre Bosc: Brrr Bahsk
How do I select & ripen pears?
When purchasing pears, select clean pears with uninjured skin. Pears with no cuts and with the stem intact will keep longer. Surface russeting (brownish areas on the skin are generally caused by weather) does not affect the quality or flavor.
Pears should be firm, or fairly firm, but not hard. Avoid wilted, shriveled, moldy or discolored pears. Check for good color for the variety you are selecting.
A pear will ripen after it is picked. To ripen, leave pears at room temperature in a paper bag until the flesh responds readily to gentle pressure. A ripe pear will yield slightly to gentle pressure at the base of the stem. Once the desired ripeness is reached, you can store pears in the fridge for a few days.
Does Rainier grow genetically modified fruit?
No. We do not grow or sell genetically modified fruit of any kind.