The late summer and fall is high season for apples. Just in time for this year’s crop, here’s USConnect’s list of what to look for when comparing apples to apples.
When it comes to sweet apples, most people look no further than Red Delicious or Golden Delicious. The Red Delicious, in particular, is widely available year-round and is an especially popular choice for the lunchbox. Although these apples share a name and a sweet flavor, they are not actually related. The Golden Delicious, in fact, is particularly prone to bruising and should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten quickly. The Red Delicious has a longer shelf life, but it will become mealy over time. The deep red skin of the Red Delicious has the highest concentration of disease-fighting polyphenols, so it’s a healthy choice.
For a tart taste, the clear choice is the iconic Granny Smith apple. Discovered accidentally by an Australian farmer in 1868, Granny Smith apples are known for their bright “apple green” skin, tart taste, and extremely crisp (even hard) texture. Granny Smith apples keep for a long time, so they are a good choice if you want to keep healthy snacks on hand. However, their green skin has the fewest polyphenols. Their tart flavor is a great complement to salads or cheese.
What many people love about apples is their crisp texture. For ultimate crispness, fresher is always better. This time of year, fresh apples are available at farm stands and orchards, many of which allow you to pick your own. If fresh-picked isn’t an option, try a Gala; these popular apples have the sweetness of Red Delicious but with less tendency to mealiness. Braeburn and Fuji apples are also known for their crispness.
Want a sweet-tart taste with a crisp-mouth feel? The Honeycrisp is the apple for you. Cultivated by the University of Minnesota and released in 1991, the Honeycrisp has quickly skyrocketed in popularity due to its long shelf life, sweet and tart flavor, juiciness, and firm texture. Although everyone has their own favorites, the Honeycrisp lands at number one on a lot of people’s lists.