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Sunday, October 2, 2016

So many apple varieties!

Apple Varieties

The one thing about apples is that there are plenty of them. Over the years since apples were introduced, they have been crossed with other varieties to come up with new apples. If you try one type and don’t like the taste there are plenty others where that came from that may suit your palate.

What are the common varieties of apples? Most have heard about Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Macintosh, Rome, and Braeburn. It might interest you to know, that in other countries the list of popular apples is different. Some varieties of apples are not available everywhere.

Apples differ in size, color, and taste. Some apples are soft. They don’t crunch when you bite into them. Others are crisp. Each bite brings out a spray of juice and a loud crunch.

Red Delicious apples grow quite large and have a shape that reminds me of a heart. Some, like Gala apples, are smaller and more rounded. Golden Delicious are somewhere in the middle. Granny Smith apples are large, firm, and round. Be careful-you might break a tooth biting into one of those.

For our purposes here, we’ll talk about the more common varieties of apple that one will find in the grocery store and at the farmer’s market. The most popular kind of apple is the Red Delicious. Their skin is a deep red color when ripe. They crunch to satisfaction and have a sweet taste.Though my daughter is greatly distressed I am not a fan of the Red Delicious.

Golden Delicious apples have a softer texture and are a yellowish color when ripe. People enjoy eating them but the softness doesn’t make them a good apple to cook with. Cut them up for salads or slice to eat as a snack. They won’t brown as quickly as other varieties of apple.

Gala apples have a pinkish color to their skin. When ripe they may display red and yellow stripes as well. These beauties are crisp and sweet. It is a great apple to introduce to kids. They’ll love the sweeter than usual taste. They hold up when cooked so they are great for apple pies.

For those of you who aren’t attached to the red color of an apple, try Granny Smith apples. They are so tart your jaws will suck in. This apple is quite versatile. Bake them in a pie, cobbler, or tart. Slice them for a garden salad or chicken salad.

Are you into apple cider? Consider the McIntosh apple. It is popular in the Northeastern states where apple cider is a commodity. This apple is juicy, crisp, and lends the right aromatic flavor to fresh pressed cider. I grew up with McIntosh apples always in the house - they were my dad's favorite.

What is your favorite? Don’t see it here? That’s alright. There are over 2,500 varieties in the United States alone.  

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