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A (different) Apple a Day.................!

There seems to be hundreds and hundreds of varieties of the apple. Tell us about the apples that grow in your region and what you do with them. What is your favourite(s)
or anything else you know about apples.

I love most varieties,however, the "Macintosh", with it's firm and slightly tart taste suits my pallet on most occasions. It grows abundantly here in Ontario, Canada along with several other varieties. I am intrigued by the aromatic description someone gave me about a "Snow apple" and am now anxious to encounter one but have been unable to do so.

Please remember a picture/photo is worth a 10000 words!

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  1. I had a fuji apple from Aomori, a town in northern japan - while in hawaii. Stunning apple. Cgfan may be able to tell you more about it. They are quite renowned.


    3 Replies
    1. re: kare_raisu

      Kare raisu
      .Did you have to pay $2.99 for one Fuji or for a basket?

        1. re: kare_raisu

          thank goodness our fuji apples are only $1.49/# here in dc metro.

    2. I remark often these days how when I was growing up there were exactly two kinds of apples (red and green) and one kind of orange. It's amazing how many varieties are out there and available now! Being a Minnesota gal, I'm partial to the Honeycrisp, developed at the University of Minnesota. They just launched a "new" apple last year described as tart and sweet with slightly tropical overtones? They named it SunSweet and it is just avialable to nurseries now, so expect to see commercial crops a few years down the road.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jennywinker

        When I can't get honeycrisp, my go to apple is usually Gala. Has to be crisp. Nothing worst than a soft or mushy apple. IMHO.

        1. re: jennywinker

          I adore honey crisp. I am obsessed with them. We get giant gorgeous ones out in Western WA. They are the crispiest, perfectly sweet apple I have ever had! I do not care a wit that they do not cook well. I am all about that crunchity - non chewy honey heaven!

          1. re: jennywinker

            I've always been an apple lover, but a number of years ago I fell absolutely in love with Honeycrisp apples. I mean completely gaga over them. I will hunt them down until the season is completely over with and have been known to pay an exhorbitant price for them as long as they are in prime condition. It drives my husband nuts.

            1. re: jennywinker

              I fell in love with Honeycrisp apples when I lived in Illinois, but I have not been able to find them in Houston. Saw a variety today called Jazz that looked similar but I haven't tried them yet.

              1. re: cycloneillini

                jazz apples are pretty darn good, but honeycrisp are just delicious! When I can find them, boy do i buy them! My apple must crunch (like most of my fruit.... apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, plums) or else I just can't eat it.....

            2. I love gala apples and fuji. I just had a cameo for lunch, which I found very well balanced between sweet and tart. For me, I need an apple with a good amount of bite, and it is definitely preferred under ripe and a bit tart instead of ripe. I like this condition for pretty much all fruit (tomatoes and pomegranate are two exceptions I can think of off-hand). I prefer fruit at refrigetator temps, also. I'm pretty sure this stems from my childhood. My mom would buy only granny smiths and red delicious, and they would sit on the counter and become over-ripe and mealy. Gross.

              1. Our list of apples mentioned in this thread so far;

                MACINTOSH.................. ..( slightly tart)
                SNOW........................... ..( very aromatic)
                FUJI .................................( stunning-renown/expensive-Aomori, Japan)
                RED & GREEN................ ????????????????
                HONEY CRISP..................( developed at U OF MINN)
                SUN SWEET.....................(tart &sweet, tropical-under development Uof Minn)
                GALA................................ ?????????????
                CAMEO.............................( balanced between sweet & tart)
                WINESAP..........................( quite tart, good for baking)
                CORTLAND.......................(art, crisp-good with sharp cheddar & for pies-NY Hudson Vlly)
                PINK LADY........................(sweet,crisp, juicy-western N.C.)
                GRAVENSTEIN..................( sauce & for baking-grown throughout Europe & N. Calf)
                PINK LADY........................(sweet, crisp,juicy, not good for baking-western N.C.)
                JONAGOLDS.....................(very good for baking)
                ESOPUS SPITZENBURG....(tart, crisp, marvelous taste- grown local Hudson Valley NY)
                BLACK TWIG.....................(very tart, firm texture, marvelous taste- local Hudson Vlly NY)
                GOLDEN DELICOUS....................?????????????????
                NORTHERN SPY...............(a bit tart, crisp, all purpose, good for snacking)
                GOLDEN RUSSET.............( crisp, rose fragrant,spicy & sweet flavour, possibly cider-KS)

                2 Replies
                1. re: fruglescot

                  OUR LIST (cont'd)

                  KING LUCIOUS..........( big,crisp,mild, good for cooking-native NC Mountains)
                  RED DELICOUS.........( commonly found in SE of NA )
                  GOLDEN DELICOUS..( " " )
                  ARKANSAS BLACK...( " " )

                  1. re: fruglescot

                    This is a terrific list so far! I'd love to hear from some people in the PNW too. My sister lives in Seattle and she says they have completely different apples than we have here in the NE. I hope others continue to add.

                2. One of my favorite sites for apples is The Apple Journal which has pictures and desciriptions of many known and lesser known apples, where they are grown and how best to enjoy them

                  In Northern California where I live they say of the Gravenstein, an apple whose appearce in mid-August, signals the end of summer and start of fall to me ...

                  "Use fresh-eating, pies, sauce, baking

                  Gravenstein is probably the oldest and most distinctive summer variety. It is widely grown throughout Europe and in this country mainly in northern California. This is a variety that you want to find when it is in season, as the subtle and distinctive flavor does not stay at its peak for long. A beautiful red and yellow striped apple, Gravenstein is highly prized for sauce and for baking. The flavor and aroma are instantly recognizable and variously described as fruity or spicy. This is an excellent variety for dessert and culinary use, with a memorable and unusual flavor."

                  Some good previous Chowhound apple variety discussions

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rworange

                    rworange, thanks for the applejournal link, and the other chow links.

                  2. For me, when it comes to eating, nothing beats a beautifully ripened Pink Lady apple. They're sweet but crisp, and usually very juicy. We always pick them from one of the orchards (usually Sky Top) in western N.C. each fall.

                    For cooking, though, that's another matter entirely. The Pink Lady apples turn to mush if you try to stew or bake them. Jonagolds make pretty good pies, in my opinion.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Suzy Q

                      Pink Lady apples are also my favorite for eating. For cooking, King Luscious, native to the NC mountains, are great. Big, crisp, and mild, they are fine for eating, too, just not as much zing as the PL, Gala, or Fuji.

                      Other apples you commonly find in the southeast include the Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome, and Arkansas Black.

                    2. We get a great variety of local apples here in new york (the hudson valley is just full of orchards). My general baking apple of choice is the Cortland -- similar to Macintosh but I think a bit tarter, a crisp apple, works wonderfully in pie. I'll also eat them plain or with some nice sharp NY cheddar.

                      Two (very) local varieties I've tried this year from the greenmarket are Esopus Spitzenburg (sp?) and Black Twig. Both are marvelous. The Esopus is more tart than the Cortland but has the same crisp texture. The Black Twig is very tart but has the texture closer to a golden delicious or other "firmer" (not sure that's the right word) apple.

                      I also will get Northern Spy on occasion as an all-purpose snacking apple. Also crisp and a bit tart.

                      Edit: I forgot to add that I'll also bake with winesaps on occasion (also quite tart).

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LNG212

                        Where did you get your black twig apples? We live in NYC and picked some in NJ, about a 1 1/4 hour drive away. Not exactly convenient. I'd love to know of a NYC greenmarket that carried them or anyplace else closer by. Black Twigs are tart and firm. They make winesaps seem wimpy.

                        1. re: troyfamily

                          Sorry I didn't see your question until now (oops!) ... During apple season, Locust Grove had them. They come to the W. 97th Street greenmarket (Fridays). They are wonderful to eat but I found them too "firm" for the way I like to make pies.

                      2. I had a wonderful golden russet variety from Wildhorse Orchard here in KS a couple autumns ago. It was sublime, so fresh and wih a crisp skin and flesh, fragrant like a rose, and as flavorful, a little spicy balanced by sweet. I imagine it'd make great cider. I heard from the Lawrence, KS coop that the Walters had to put Wildhorse up to sell last year when the early spring frost killed all their apple and peach crop. They just didn't have enough to make it through without a crop, which is tragic. Their farm has been in the family for several generations. I hope they were able to pull a rabbit out of that hat and make it through without selling, but haven't heard more as of yet.

                        There are other orchards who grow russeted apples, of which there are at least two old varieties available here in the area. I haven't yet found any as good as theirs, and will miss them terribly if the orchard doesn't continue to sell. Scroll down for a photo of the golden russet from a different orchard: http://www.coldspringorchard.com/page...

                        1. The orchards and veggie stands around southern CT have been pushing Macoun eating apples for at least 5 years. Tastes as good as any other they carry.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: DonShirer

                            Macoun apples are one of my very favorites! I encountered them on a trip to New Jersey a couple of years back, and then a year ago in CT -- I bought a whole basket and lugged them home in my carryon. They're virtually unknown here in Northern California -- I only know of one specialty apple grower who has them. They're very crisp and sweet-tart and ... apple-y.

                            My favorite new apple variety is Jazz -- a New Zealand apple that is now being grown in Washington as well. It's a cross between a Braeburn and a Gala, that has the sweetness and flavor of the latter but the crispness of the former.

                            Arkansas Black is an amazing apple, but, I found out, only once it's been aged a little. Right off the tree they're rather tough and dry, but they mellow a little with storage -- I think of them as the anti-Golden Delicious.

                            Of the easily available varieties, I think Pink Lady is my favorite.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              I bought some Ginger Gold apples -- an early variety -- from a U-Pick and I'm enjoying them. They have a thin pale greenish-yellow skin with an occasional red streak. Right off the tree they're crisp and sweet-tart-spicy. I think they probably deteriorate pretty quickly, though, because in just a few days on the counter they're not as crisp as they were, so a store-bought one might not be as good.

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                Just saw Jazz for the first time today. I like both Braeburn and Gala, so I bet they are good. Comparable to Honeycrisp?

                                1. re: cycloneillini

                                  I like Jazz better than most of the Honeycrisp I've had, which I've found not to actually be that crisp. Try one.

                            2. I truly wish I could tell you the name of the most fantastic apples I've ever had in my life because then I'd be able to get some more! My second husband and I were driving through the highlands of the central Peloponnese of Greece, wondering if our "shortcut" was turning into a "longcut." An old man was standing beside the road with several bags of apples he was selling to non-existent passers by. I insisted we stop. I could use a snack. Amazingly the old man spoke English, having lived in Chicago a decade or three ago. He wore a "Snoopy" Red Baron leather airoplane helmet from World War One, and his overcoat was probably of the same vintage. I bought three apples, and as I was walking away (I still smoked back then), he asked for an American cigarette. I was touched and gave him my almost fresh pack. He was touched in return, and gave me a whole bag of apples. They were MAGIC! The skins were absolutely sticky with syrup oozing from their interiors, and with the first bite, I completely understood Jason and the Argonauts being captivated by fruit. Yes, I know. It sounds like a chapter from John Fowls' "The Magus," but I swear every word of it is true.

                              Possibly the closest apples I have ever found to those magic Pellopenesian apples was the first Fuji I ever ate. I think I paid five or six dollars for it, and it was wrapped in tissue surrounded by a thick foam net to cushion its travels. Fujis have come down greatly in price since then, and I find them in an apple bin at the supermarket as if they were just any old apple. Today's Fujis don't taste as good as my original did. Maybe if I could still find some that are coddled and cushioned they would? Or maybe if I paid five or six bucks for one, I'd be obliged to think it does!

                              When it comes to cooking with apples, which apple I use depnds entirely on what I'm making.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Caroline1

                                Most apples when they get popular, get the taste bred out of them. I remember at one time when Delicious apples were delicious. I had a Fuji the other day from a local grower that reminded me how woderful these apples were when they first appeared in my area.

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Apples of Pellopenese, Greece

                                  That was a great anecdote on travels,characters and of course apples. Perhaps there is someone on here that could put a name to that tasty sounding
                                  "."MILO" (apple)

                                  1. re: fruglescot

                                    From your fingertips to Zeus' ears! Even when I asked Greek friends back then, they just shrugged. In a Greek way, of course. '-)

                                2. Honeycrips are my absolute all time favorite. I can't tell you how many non-apple eaters I have converted to these! I eat at least one every day - I will cry when they disappear from my market. I had no idea about them originating in Minn. Send us more! Also really like Macouns, although we don't get them here in Virginia. Have had them in New England. My New York-born mother swears she can't make a good apple pie without Northern Spys, which I have never seen!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Susan627

                                    Absolutely Honeycrisps! Perfection!

                                    1. re: Susan627

                                      I have a question about Honeycrisps, which are carried in our stores in St. Louis. I find they always look wrinkled under the skin, and they are always more expensive that Galas or Fujis. Should they have the wrinkles? I'm completely put off by the way they look.

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        No. They should not have a wrinkled look. Those are way too old. They are not a hard apple like an Arkansas Black, but like the names inplies there is a certain crispness to them.

                                    2. Mmm. I am an apple fiend! I especially love arkansas blacks for their crispness and subtle not too sweet flavor.

                                      Last year, I started eating a type of apple called a spartan that was ridiculously good. This year I was hoping to find it again, but alas, Gelsons has not carried it yet. Does anyone know if these "spartans" will ever come back?

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: MiloGoestotheCIA

                                        I suppose you know now that MILO is apple in Greek?

                                        1. re: fruglescot

                                          I suspect she does, George. Read her "home page." We've got one awesome, articulate kid hanging among us and holding her own. From one end of the age spectrum to the other, Milo, I salute you!

                                      2. Another vote for my local apple - pink lady! I conducted apple taste testings for a past employer. The apple which impressed us the most was a newish (to the U.S.) variety called Sugaru. IIRC, it is a Japanese variety, had red skin, firm, crisp, sweet as can be with a very white flesh. The most amazing quality was the flesh was very resistant to browning once cut. Every other variety we sampled would have turned brown, but Sugaru stayed almost pristine. Would be a terrific choice for fruit platters & salads. I have no experience cooking with it so can't report on those qualities. I seem to remember that there has been some limiting planting in the Pacific NW. I look for it, but have never found it in my local market, but I keep looking!

                                        1. As a kid growing up it was always Jonathan or Winesap then for years all I ate were Granny Smiths but those are no good anymore. I go between Fuji, Gala, Royal Gala, Cameo and Pink Lady here but they all vary so I buy small a quantity and go back for more if they're good and crisp.

                                          Every great once in a while I will get a Golden Delicious and may be pleasantly surprised but they're still not as good as the others. Red Delicious from Michigan also occasionally, which have been superior to the ones from Washington that we get here.

                                          Braeburns were excellent when first introduced but went downhill very quickly; I haven't had a good Braeburn in several years.

                                          The best I've had are the Honey Crisps but only one store near me carries them and I don't always shop at that store. They're almost twice as expensive but oh so good.

                                          The biggest surprise came from a locally grown apple. I did not think we could grow decent apples here but a co-worker brought me one from her yard and it was very good. Unfortunately she doesn't know what variety it is since the tree was there when she bought the house but after some investigation I came to the conclusion it was a Darcy. But she hasn't ever brought me another one!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: brucesw

                                            There is a big difference between a newcrop apple and a storage apple.
                                            Look for Braeburns in the spring when they are fresh from NZ. They're still very good. I like Fujis as the regular everday apple. One locally grown apple around S. Cal that is starting to show up is the Gala.
                                            Growing up in S. Fla. the apples we always ate (which I assume were from New York and elsewhere), were Macintosh and the Johnathan. We also had Rome apples, although they were supposed to be for cooking, I liked to eat them raw, too. I've never liked the Granny Smith because the skin is usually too thick.

                                          2. the apple selection in Florida is pretty awful (as is most produce) but Fuji apples are the best I have tasted so far here.

                                            Coming from the UK I would always choose Cox's Orange Pippins but you don't have them in America. I used to have 3 apple trees in my garden in London and I miss being able to pick fresh from August to October.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: smartie

                                              If you are ever in Northern California in the fall, a few local markets like the Berkeley Bowl will carry the Cox's orange pippins. IIRC, two of the local farmers who specialize in heritage apples also sell them at farmers markets.

                                              The warmer the weather, the worse for apples. I think that is why there are so few good apples in Northern California compared to New England where I grew up. I can't even imagine an apple tree in Florida.

                                              1. re: rworange

                                                It is not the first image that comes to mind when thinking of Fl., but there are some Israeli apple varieties which produce there!

                                            2. I like Macintosh, Jonathan, Jonagold, Cortland, Grimes Golden and Granny Smith, but my favorites when I can get the are Winesap and Northern Spy.

                                              I have had Fuji's, but they are quite rare in northern Ohio orchards.

                                              1. I can't believe no-one has mentioned Mutsu apples yet. The best! Although Gravensteins are pretty amazing too.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Ferdzy

                                                  And , I cant believe that no one has mentioned a Greening apple - not good 4 eating out of hand , but u cant beat them for storage purposes - and in baking , they r terrific.

                                                  My fav apple will always be a Northern Spy - followed closely by Fuji, and Ark Blk

                                                  1. re: dibob817

                                                    no one has mentioned r.i. greenings (newport developed) because very few people have tasted them. you have to pay attention for the season even in new england. phenomenal pie apple. same with roxbury russets, great apple ( one of the first american cultivars, mid-1600's) but unless you know someone with trees you are unlikely to see one.

                                                  2. re: Ferdzy

                                                    Thank you Ferdzy for finally mentioning the Mutsu apple!!

                                                    I got all the way down here and thought 'where the heck are the Mutsus!'

                                                    They are my favorite apples and I wait anxiously for them every October.

                                                    1. re: Ferdzy

                                                      I was wondering the same thing WRT mutsus. I'm not an apple aficionado, so I don't appreciate the nuances and subtleties between most varieties - I really have a low threshold for tartness - so for me, an apple has to be sweet, crisp, and juicy, in that order. Mutsus are all three. Fujis are a close second, and fortunately, fujis can be had at roadside stands during the season for next to nothing.

                                                    2. A couple of years ago my wife and I eat at a small breakfast place (only open for breakfast) in Long Beach, WA. Along with our breakfast, there was a slice of a red fleshed apple. I asked the manager if he knew what the variety was and he did not. They got the apple from a local grower and that was all the information he had. Does anyone know of an apple with red flesh? It was not as deep as a beat but it was close.

                                                      PS My favorite store apples are Fuji and Honey Crisp. The best apple of all is a farm fresh Golden Delicious. An apple needs to be crispy.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: St.Helens Matt

                                                        St. Helens Matt
                                                        It may have been a "SNOW APPLE". It has been described to me as a tasty , very aromatic variety with a vein like pink flesh.

                                                        1. re: fruglescot

                                                          this site on antique apple varieties says snow apples have pure white flesh (hence "snow" apple name). http://www.applejournal.com/christmas...

                                                        2. re: St.Helens Matt

                                                          This probably isn't your apple because I'm in New England, but I found some crazy yellow-skinned, (BRIGHT) pink-fleshed apples at Nashoba Valley WInery in Bolton, MA. They weren't among the approved pick-your-own varieties but I smuggled some into my bag and they were really good. I never figured out what it was called either. Was yours yellow on the outside? And fairly small? The flesh was like the color of pink lemonade.

                                                          I love McIntosh at the very start of their season before they get too soft, and also Macouns and Baldwins. No one's mentioning Baldwins--I love them!! They may really just be a New England apple.

                                                          I would like to try this Black Twig, but I'm often disappointed in the heirloom apples with the wacky names--so many seem kind of mealy and with a taste that reminds me of the Hated Red Delicious. I also want to try Roxbury Russet but I can only ever find Golden Russets, which are all right but a little too sweet for me.

                                                          1. re: BostonCookieMonster

                                                            That sounds lovely - pink-fleshed? I love Mac fresh off a tree - sometimes you get the red vein contrasting against that brilliant white. Those are the best but you are right - you must eat them as soon as they come out. That is funny - the hated red delicious. The Jazz is kinda like a cross between a Royal Gala and a Braeburn - but you really don't get that distinct stripe - smoother tones of reds/yellows/pinks but not a solid red. Tough describing an apple - don't have one here right now to look at but you can see it at www.jazzapple.com Be careful with the smuggling BostonCookieMonster!

                                                        3. The Discovery apple is amongst the first apples of the English season, generally ready for picking from mid-August. Best eaten very fresh, it's a crunch, aromatic apple with a hint of strawberry.


                                                          1. Have to add my name to the chorus of honey crisp lovers. But my absolute favourite, which I haven't seen mentioned here, is Red Prince. It isn't local to my area, so it's rare to see it, but when I find some I buy pounds worth. It's the nirvana of apples- crunchy, juicy, sweet, aromatic, crisp,... [although they do have the tendency, like most apples if old, to get bruised and mealy]. They're what you would describe apples as to someone who's never eaten one before- they're divine.

                                                            1. My favorites are Granny Smith's. Tart and juicy and just the right size. My daughter bought some Braeburns and I had a couple slices yesterday, but they didn't have a very good bite to them. I don't like a mealy apple.

                                                              Has anyone tried a Grapple? It looks like an apple but has a grape flavor to it. Very good. Comes in a plastic package of 4.


                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: danhole

                                                                The Braeburn you tried has been in storage for at least 4 to 5 months, which is beyond the recommended period. Granny Smiths are better keepers, hence they are a good choice out of season.

                                                                I don't recall if anyone has posted this link yet. They have a list of varieties with harvest season and lists of orchards in each state.


                                                              2. Huge fan of the MACOUN variety- Can only find them in the fall in NY/NJ...have not had much luck here in the midwest

                                                                1. I didn't see the Jazz apple mentioned in this thread. It's grown in many parts of the world but originated in New Zealand - cross between a Braeburn and Royal Gala. Right now the best one to pick up is grown in NZ but come November look for those grown in Washington state. I don't think there are any plantings in Canada - maybe one tree! Taste is tart and then a sweet finish. Very firm. Quite a dense apple. Haven't tried to cook with it but I'm expect it would make a great pie. Right now I just eat it fresh.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: LemonSalt

                                                                    i just saw some jazz apples in the safeway in arlington, va. they were about $3/#, whereas fujis, etc. were around $1.65 /#.

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Yes the Jazz apples are more expensive in Vancouver but totally tastes different to a fuji. I suppose it depends on how many you are buying - and where they were grown - I know right now most apples are imported given the growing season. Do you ever ask the produce manager to give you a taste of an apple you haven't tried before?

                                                                      1. re: LemonSalt

                                                                        lemon salt, i have gotten "tastes" from the produce manager -- that's *when* i can find him ;-). no, really, they're usually very nice about tastes, esp. at harris teeter and safeway -- more so than giant, at least near me.....

                                                                        i'm going to go buy a "jazz" and try it. thanks for the tip.

                                                                  2. Love the organic Galas available in California. They seem to have the perfect sweet/tart but-not-too-much flavor profile to go into a salad with arugula, shaved parmesan, red onion, a shake of toasted Chinese 5-spice powder and a little oil and barely a brush of lemon.

                                                                    1. This time of year, it's just imports. Which means that I have to make do with Braeburn as best of a not very good lot lot.

                                                                      However, when In season, I look out for for Cox, Granny Smith, Egremont Russet, Worcester Pearmain, James Grieve and Laxton's Superb as eaters.

                                                                      Bramley is the most easily found found cooker but I came across Howgate Wonder and Grenadier last year. Both nicely tart, but perhaps, not as tart as a Bramley. Howgate makes a great juice.

                                                                      1. Growing up in northern Iowa we would go to the orchards at Gays Mills Wisconsin every fall. They had wonderful heirloom varieties that I've never seen anything else. My grandmother wouldn't make apple pie out of anything but the Wealthy variety from Wisconsin.