There are 150 strains of Red and Golden Delicious apples! Below we've listed the most popular and common, along with information as to which are better for baking, etc. "An apple a day..."
- Akane: Do not store well. Have sweet-tart flavor. Skin is thin and usually tender. They retain their shape well when baked and have a tart flavor.
- Braeburn: Store exceptionally well. Skin is tender, moderately tart. They keep shape well when baked and retain their tartness.
- Cortland: Fragile and needs to be stored carefully. High in vitamin C and resists browning. Thin skinned with slight tart-sweet taste. Keeps shape well when baked.
- Criterion: Yellow apples that are difficult to handle without bruising. High in vitamin C and resists browning. The skin is tender but flavor is bland when baked.
- Elstar: Store well with their tart flavor mellowing when stored. They have tender skin and retain their flavor and shape well when baked.
- Empire: Do not store well and tend to get mealy. High in vitamin C and will resist browning. Thick skinned and bake well retaining flavor.
- Fuji: Store well with tangy sweet flavor. Will retain flavor well when baked, but take longer to cook than most apples. Looks like an Asian pear.
- Gala: Sweet with slight tartness and have tender skin. Hold shape well when baked but does not retain flavor.
- Golden Delicious: Stores well but spoils fast at room temperature. Should be light yellow not greenish. Skin is tender and flavor is sweet. High in vitamin C and resists browning. Retains shape well when baked.
- Granny Smith: Best color is light green not intensely green and could even have a slight yellow tint. High in vitamin C and resists browning. Nicely balanced sweet tart flavor. Cooks into excellent thick applesauce, but is not recommended for baking.
- Gravenstein: Comes in both red and green. Excellent sweet tart flavor and very juicy. Good for applesauce but not a good baking apple.
- Idared: Resembles Jonathans, skin is tender. When cooked they will retain full flavor.
- Jonagold: Has good sweet-tart balance. A very juicy apple with tender skin. For best applesauce, cook with peel then strain.
- Jonathan: Found in California around mid-August. They become soft and mealy quickly. Thin skinned, cook tender and make good applesauce. Retain shape well when baked.
- McIntosh: Most come from British Columbia. Be careful when selecting as they get mushy and mealy easily. Skin is tough and will separate from flesh. Tend to fall apart when baked in pies.
- Melrose: Normally found in the Northwest. Store very well and flavor actually improves after one or two months of storage. Well balanced sweet and tart flavor. Retains shape well when cooked in pies.
- Mutsu: (Crispin) Looks like Golden Delicious, but is greener and irregular in shape. Store very well. Has sweet but spicy taste with fairly coarse texture for applesauce, cook with peels and strain.
- Newton Pippin: Sometimes picked too green wait until light green for sweetest flavor. Crisp, sweet tart flavored apple. They keep shape when baked or used in pies. Makes a thick applesauce.
- Northern Spy: A tart red or green apple, excellent for pies.
- Red Delicious: Ranges in color from red to red striped. Store for up to 12 months. Will not last long at room temperature. Avoid any bruised ones. Normally are sweet and mellow with a hint of tartness. When cooked they do not hold flavor well.
- Rhode Island Greening: Best choice for pies, but not very available. Only available October and November on the East Coast.
- Rome Beauty: If stored for long periods of time Rome Beauty apples will developa bland flavor and get mealy. They are very mild and have a low acid level. The skin is thick, but tender. It is an excellent baking apple.
- Spartan: Will not store for long periods and get mealy easily. Sweet flavor and very aromatic. Flavor is weak when cooked.
- Stayman Winesap: Stores well. Spicy tart flavor and good crisp apple. Have thick skins which separate easily. When cooked they will retain flavor well. Good for baking or pies.
If you'd like, you can download a PDF copy of the Apple Varieties.
Food Bytes: Apples
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