Apples: The Not-So-Forbidden Fruit

IMAGE Apple cider, apple juice, apple pie, applesauce, apple crisp, apple cake…the list goes on and on! The ubiquitous apple conjures up a number of images—the heralding of autumn, the most predictable food in the lunch bag, the comforting aromas of Thanksgiving pies, and a symbol that has become associated with health. Apples are so common that they are often taken for granted. However, whether you are an apple polisher, an apple eater, a bad apple, the apple of someone’s eye, or as American as apple pie, there is still a lot to learn about this delicious, nutritious, and versatile fruit.

How Do You Like These Apples?

Apples are delicious, low in calories, portable, versatile, and inexpensive. They come in many shades of red, green, and yellow, making them just as pleasing to the eye as to the palate. Apples can be sweet, tart, crisp, and crunchy, or soft and smooth, depending on the type you choose. There is a type of apple to suit almost anyone’s taste, but most people have only tried a few of the common types. Some varieties of apples in the United States include:
  • Red Delicious—deep red skin; purported to contain the highest level of antioxidants out of all apple varietals; sweet, crispy, and juicy; best eaten fresh or in salads
  • Golden Delicious—yellow skin; mellow and sweet; good choice for salads and other dishes
  • Fuji—yellow or red skin; sweet and firm; available year round
  • Granny Smith—green skin; very tart; works well as a snack and in pie and sauce
  • Gala—cream, yellow, or red striped flesh; crispy, juicy, and very sweet; ideal for snacks
  • Rome Beauty—mildly tart; used primarily for cooking
  • McIntosh—tangy tart; best for snacking, applesauce, and pie
  • Idared—tangy and firm; good for snacking and holds its shape for baking
  • Jonathan—spicy tangy; used in pie, applesauce, and cider
  • Empire—crisp, juicy, sweet-tart; good all-purpose apple
  • Cortland—sweeter than MacIntosh; excellent for salads, kabobs, and garnishes
  • Newtown Pippin—green skin; aromatic and tangy; great for pie and applesauce
Other popular varieties of apples include Braeburn, Cameo, Ginger gold, Honey Crisp, and Pink Lady.

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