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Apple Varieties

From "Arkansas Black Apples" to "Winesap Apples"


An apple isn't just an apple. The range of varieties at many farmers market is inspirational – some crisp, some sweet, some perfect for snacking, others better suited to making apple pie. Find wonderful varieties well beyond the classic Red Delicious below. Then learn more about apples before hitting the farmers market or going to pick your own.

Arkansas Black Apples

Photo © Molly Watson
Arkansas Black apples are tart and noticeably tannic (that's the feeling you get from red wine that makes your mouth feel like all the moisture has been sucked out of it). For people who crave a tart apple for snacking, there is no finer. They're also a perfectly decent baking apple.

Cox's Pippin Apples

Cox's Pippin apples just may have the best apple name ever. They have yellow skin and yellow flesh, with a mild apple flavor. A good, solid eating and baking apple popular in the Northeast.

Empire Apples

Empire apples are brilliantly red. They have a crisp texture and spicy flavor. But perhaps best of all, they make a lovely, rosy applesauce. They are also good for eating, but will lose their shape quickly when baked.

Fameuse Apples (a.k.a. Snow Apples)

Photo © Molly Watson
Fameuse apples are also known as snow apples, so called because of their snow white flesh. They are a parent of the delightfully scented McIntosh apples. They're tangy and sweet and great for eating or baking.

Gala Apples

Photo © Molly Watson
Gala apples are a great eating apple. Crisp, firm, sweet. Many people find they taste a lot like the more commonly available Golden Delicious apple.

Golden Delicious

One of the more common ly available varieties listed here, Golden Delicious apple have a flowery aroma and sweet flavor. They keep their shape so much when cooked that they are not recommended for applesauce. Of course, that makes them perfect for pies and tarts.

Gravenstein Apples

Gravenstein Apples
Photo © Molly Watson
Gravenstein apples are the first apples to ripen--in August--on their home on the West Coast. Gravensteins are fairly tart, crisp, and very juicy. They are good eating apples, great baking apples, and make particularly good applesauce.

Hawaiian Apples

Photo © Molly Watson
Hawaiian apples are crisp, firm, and very sweet. Better for eating than baking, and perfect for those who like sweet, rather than tart, apples.

Honey Crisp Apples

Photo © Molly Watson
Ahh, Honey Crisps. Their name says it all. Sweet and crisp and juicy, these are great eating apples.

Jonathon Apples

Photo © Molly Watson
Jonathon apples have a rich, almost creamy texture and particularly tart, spicy flavor. A great eating apple, since they are so juicy. They also bake well.

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