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An Eye for Apples

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istock_000017529122xsmallIt’s that delicious time of year when we can enjoy all the colors, flavors, aromas and textures of the fall harvest. Among all the fruits and vegetables available right now, the apple is arguably the most universally popular – and versatile. And here’s a bonus: apples are filling, low in calories, a good source of fiber and rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants.

There are many types of apple, each with its own unique characteristics. This quick guide can help you select apples for cooking, eating and baking:


  • Baldwin: An all-purpose apple great for baking; known for tartness and crisp texture
  • Cortland: Tart and crisp, great in salads; hold their shape well during baking
  • Empire: Sweet, crisp and firm
  • Gala: Mild, sweet, crisp and juicy; best eaten raw
  • Golden Delicious: Juicy, mild and sweet; an easy-to-use all-purpose apple
  • Granny Smith: Bright green tart, crisp and hard; holds its shape well during baking; great in salads or eaten by itself
  • Honey Crisp: Very crisp and juicy, both sweet and tart; are eaten out-of-hand or used in cooking
  • Idared: Tart, crisp and firm; stores well and is good for all-purpose use
  • Jonagold: Sweet and tart Jonathan–Golden Delicious hybrid; good in pies and sauces
  • Jonathan: Sweet and acidic; great for eating raw, baking and sauces
  • McIntosh: Sweet, juicy and less firm; makes great sauces and juices; good in salsa
  • Macoun: Tart and crisp; good for eating raw, baking and sauces
  • Northern Spy: Tart and delicate; may be the best baking apple
  • Red Delicious: One of the most famous varieties; best for eating raw
  • Rome Beauty: Sweet and firm; holds its shape well during baking and cooking

And here’s a final hint: How do you keep raw apples from turning brown after the flesh is exposed to the air? The citric acid in lemon juice or orange juice will do the trick. Lemon juice is available in a spray bottle, which makes it very convenient to spritz apple slices!

Do you have a favorite apple recipe?

Written by Bethany Village

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