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Wednesday August 23, 2006 9:18 pm

A Guide To Different Apple Types

Apple TreeThere are many different varieties of apples available today. Some are old favorites and others are a bit more difficult to find. 

Lady or Api apple. One of the oldest varieties, this apple dates from the first century A.D., but is not readily found in most supermarkets. Gourmet shops or fruit sellers in large cities often stock this sweetly tart apple. It is a small red or yellow apple with a red blush and is great for desserts and sauces. Because of their small size, Lady apples add a lovely touch to fruit baskets or are used as a garnish. They are available during the winter.

Jonathan. These dark to bright red apples used to be a baker’s staple because of their juicy tart flavor. They have been showing up more infrequently on supermarket shelves.

Winesap. Again, another kitchen staple of bygone years, this tart, winey red apple was great for cooking, but not a choice for baking. It also is harder to find in some regions of the country.

Rome. This apple has come to replace the Jonathan and Winesap as a great all-purpose baking and cooking apple. But, this apple is beginning to be difficult to find.

Red Delicious. This apple is a standard in most American households. It is thought to have originated as a chance seeding on a farm in Peru, Iowa, and was originally called Hawkeye when it was introduced to the public in 1874. It is bright red, crunchy, with a mildly sweet flavor. It can be used in salads and for snacking, and is available all year long.

Golden Delicious. Originating in Clay County, West Virginia in 1914, the Golden Delicious apple was most likely another chance seedling from Golden Reinette and Grimes Golden strains. This apple is the workhorse of the apple family. Mellow and sweet, these apples are great for everything: eating out of hand, salads, pies, sauce, and baking. Golden Delicious are also available year round, but also freeze well.

Granny Smith. Originating in Australia in 1868, this apple is said to have been cultivated by a grandmother named Maria Ann Smith, who created the variety from French crab apples. These big, bright green, extremely tart apples are versatile fruits that are great for pies, salad, sauce, baking, freezing, and sauteeing. They are available year round.

Braeburn. Discovered in New Zealand as another chance seedling from Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith strains, this apple was first introduced in 1952. It’s color ranges from orange to red, against a yellow background. Sweet, juicy, and crisp, Braeburns are very firm and used for snaking, baking, pies, and sauce. They are also good to freeze. These apples are available from the fall through mid summer.

Fuji.  These apples originated in Japan as a cross of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet. They were first introduced in 1962 and are now grown in the US. In fact, America produces more Fuji apples than Japan does each year. These big, extra-sweet apples hold their texture during baking and make a lovely presentation in Baked Apples. They are good for salads, pies, and cooked apples where you want to keep the apple slices firm. These apples also freeze well and are available from October to August. 

Gala. This apple hit the market in 1965. Like the Braeburn, it is from New Zealand, and is a cross of Cox’s Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious. Galas have pinkish-orange stipes over a yellow background. They smell wonderful and have a sweet flavor, and are great for snaking and salads. These apples are available September to May.

Jonagold. This new variety, first introduced in 1968, is a cross of Golden Delicious and Jonathon. It was developed by apple breeders in New York. Orange-tinted, this apple is tangy-sweet and is excellent for eating out of the hand, cooking, pies, baking, and freezing. It is available September through April.

Pink Lady. Another cross from Australia, this apple blends Golden Delicious and Lady Williams strains, producing a firm, tangy-tart, yet sweet apple. Pink Lady apples are great for everything. Bearing a pink blush, these apples are available November to August.

Cameo. This is one of the newest apples that you will find readily in your grocer’s fruit section. Introduced in 1987, it is a chance seedling found in Washington State. It is a sweet, zingy tart apple that is a long-keeper. Holding its texture, it is a great all-purpose apple that freezes well. Known for the white spots on its skin, the Cameo apple is available October to August. 



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