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Everything You Need to Know About Apples

Whether they’re destined for baked goods, sauces, or just fresh snacks, the delicious apple varieties in our shop this fall are the perfect picks no matter what.

RED DELICIOUS

The Look: Heart-shaped, with smooth, thick skin that’s a deep ruby-red

The Taste: A refreshing apple with a mild flavor, Red Delicious apples were selectively bred for aesthetics and color first, so over time their sweetness has mellowed in favor of deep crimson skin

The Texture: Somewhat tough skin with a lightly crisp crunch

Fun Fact: One of the most recognizable apples, Red Delicious was the US’ best-selling apple until 2018 when Gala snuck into the top spot

HONEYCRISP

The Look: Jumbo-sized with glossy yellow-green skin covered in a scarlet blush that reddens the longer it’s exposed to sunlight

The Taste: Honey-sweet, juicy, and incredibly crisp

The Best Use: Thanks to a high water content, they’re best eaten fresh. Try thick slices paired with blue cheese and honey, or cut into matchsticks with turnips, cabbage, and an olive oil-based dressing for a light, refreshing slaw

ORIN

The Look: Similar to Granny Smith apples with bright yellow-green, speckled skin

The Taste: Sugary, full, and juicy with faint notes of pear and pineapple

The Best Use: With their sweet, firm flesh, we love eating them fresh. Add thin slices to a BLT for a surprisingly sweet crunch, or simply enjoy them on their own for a fuss-free dessert

PINK LADY

The Look: Rose-hued skin with occasional flecks of yellow-green

The Taste: Honey-sweet

The Texture: Very firm with a clean, snappy bite

The Best Use: Baking—it absorbs flavors and holds its structure well when cooked—or eating as-is

KANZI

The Look: Glossy, vibrant red-orange-striped skin that glows green towards the stem

The Taste: A perfect balance of sweet and tangy

The Texture: Dense and crunchy

The Best Use: Anything raw, like shaved in slaws, chopped into salads, or sliced for snacking.

GRANNY SMITH

The Look: Bright, shiny green skin, often dotted with dark lenticels* (tiny dark spots, which are a harmless cosmetic marking that splatter many apple varieties)

The Taste: Tart, mouth-puckering flavor

The Texture: Distinct crisp, crunchy bite

The Best Use: Shred it over salads with greens and tangy cheese (like blue or goat). Too sour? Try it baked—butter and sugar mellow out its acidity to strike a sweet-tart balance

GALA

The Look: Smooth, pale golden skin with subtle red striping that darkens in color the longer it’s stored

The Taste: On the sweeter side with a light floral aroma

The Best Use: While a firm flesh makes Galas superb snacks or salad add-ins, they truly shine when used for homemade applesauces

FUJI

The Look: Medium-sized and covered with a rosy flush, save for yellowish-green patches at the stem and the base

The Taste: Quite sweet with a slight tang

The Texture: A crisp, granular bite

The Best Use: Fuji apples are an excellent snacking apple but if cooking’s on your mind, they’re best used for sauces and baked in crisps with warm spices.

GOLDEN DELICIOUS

The Look: Vibrant golden-colored skin that deepens the longer it’s left on the tree

The Taste: Intensely sweet, candied flavor—when at its freshest, it almost tastes like sugarcane

The Best Use: Exceptional for baking of all kinds since its structure holds up when cooked

PINOVA

The Look: Thin, vibrant skin with patchy pinkish-red and yellow-orange coloring 

The Taste: Crisp, juicy, and sweet, with a faint tropical aroma

The Best Use: Since their skin resists browning, they’re an apple-of-all-trades. Enjoy fresh, baked, cooked, or frozen. (Yes, you can freeze apples!)

ENVY

The Look: Striped ruby red skin with warm yellow undertones

The Taste: Sweet, with floral and vanilla notes and a hint of tartness 

The Best Use: Eaten by the slice—they don’t brown that quickly once cut—or diced and added to pies, fruit crumbles, or savory recipes (apple pierogies, anyone?)

MCINTOSH

The Look: A petite, small- to medium-sized round apple with a short stem, red skin, and green flush

The Taste: Sweet, with a hint of berry notes

The Best Use: Best known as a dessert apple since its small structure cooks quickly, we like them baked into desserts like apple crisp with a big heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream (though this sweet-tart variety is delicious in homemade ciders, too)

I WANT APPLES FOR…

Sauce: Go with ones that have both sweetness and a snappy crunch, such as Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Pinova.

Cider: Try a blend of sweet (Fuji, Gala) and tart (Pink Lady, McIntosh) apples for balanced flavor. The warming spices are important here, too.

Pies and baked treats: You’ll want apples that hold their shape well—AKA don’t turn to complete mush when baked. Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Braeburn are all good options.

Savory dishes: Gala is a great go-to. It’s sweet enough to complement savory flavors but mild enough to not overpower the dish as a whole.

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THOSE TINY BLACK SPOTS?

They’re called lenticels and they’re a harmless cosmetic marking that splatter many apple varieties, most commonly the Granny Smith.