•    Most Popular Varieties of Apples   

    Apples are part of the Rose family of plants and are joined other very popular foods including apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, and almonds. Foods in the Rose family are simply too diverse in their nutrient value to allow for any one single recommendation about the number of servings that we should consume. However several anti-cancer studies show daily intake of this fruit to provide better anti-cancer benefits. So there may be some truth to the old phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

    Health Benefits of Apples

    Apples are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of apples has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease.

    Nutrition and miscellaneous facts: Apples are fat-free, low sodium, and cholesterol-free. A bushel weighs between 42 and 48 lbs. A medium apple has about 80 calories. One-half cup of apples is 42 calories. Apples contain no cholesterol or fat and are also low in calories. Apples are high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A and niacin. They contain iron and other trace minerals and are a fair source of Vitamin C.

     

    History of Apples

    Apples originated in the Middle East region between the Caspian and the Black Sea more than 4000 years ago. They were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples arrived in England in the 11th century around the time of the Norman conquest. English settlers brought them to America in the 1600 and 1700’s.  Only the crabapple is native to North America. Johnny Appleseed did really exist; his name was John Chapman, and he was born on September 26,1774 near Leominster, Massachusetts

     

     Apple Chart

    The chart below lists 16 popular varieties of apples and their recommended uses. Below provide more information in each variety.

    Variety

    Fresh

    Pies

    Sauce

    Baking

    Courtland

    Good

    Good

    Good

    Good

    Golden Delicious

    Very good

    Excellent

    Very good

    Very good

    Red Delicious

    Excellent

    Fair

    Fair

    Poor

    Empire

    Very good

    Fair

    Good

    Fair

    Fuji

    Very good

    Fair

    Excellent

    Poor

    Gala

    Excellent

    Good

    Very Good

    Good

    Macoun

    Good

    Fair

    Good

    Fair

    McIntosh

    Good

    Good

    Very good

    Poor

    Winesap

    Very good

    Very good

    Good

    Good

    Jonagold

    Very good

    Very good

    Very Good

    Very good

    Cameo

    Good

    Fair

    Good

    Fair

    Grannysmith

    Very good

    Very good

    Very good

    Fair

    Braeburn

    Very Good

    Good

    Good

    Very Good

    Honeycrisp

    Excellent

    Poor

    Good

    Fair

    Rome

    Good

    Good

    Good

    Excellent

    Pink Lady

    Good

    Good

    Very Good

    Good

    • Cortland: Cortlands are grown mainly in the Northeast, the northern Great Lakes states, and eastern Canada. A medium-to-large red-and-green-striped apple, it is crisp, juicy, and sweetly tart. Because of its white flesh resists browning, Cortlands are favored for salads and fruit cups. It is also a good all-purpose apple.

    • Golden Delicious: Grown in most regions across the country, Golden Delicious is the second-most grown after Red Delicious, to which it is not at all related. A medium-to-large pale yellow or yellow-green apple that is mild and sweet. Although it is crisp when harvested in September and October, its pale flesh often becomes dry and soft. Its skin shrivels when not kept under refrigeration. Particularly desirable for snacks, fresh desserts, and salads, the Golden Delicious is a good all-purpose apple. Personally I think it’s the best apple for making apple crisp or an apple brown betty.

    • Red Delicious: The Red Delicious is grown throughout the United States and is America’s most popularly grown apple. This bright red apple is crisp and juicy when harvested in September and October. Although Red Delicious is considered a good keeper by the industry, its sweet and mild-tasting flesh is all too often a mealy, mushy disappointment. It is best used for snacks, salads, and fruit cups.

    • Empire: Grown mostly in the Northeast and upper mid-western states, this medium, red-on-yellow (sometimes all-red) apple is crisp and juicy. With its sweet and spicy flesh, it is one of the very best for eating out of hand, in salads, and in fruit cups.

    • Fuji: This flavorful, aromatic apple is the number-one seller in Japan. A pretty apple with yellowish green skin blushed with orange-red stripes, it has dense, crisp, and sweetly tart light yellow flesh. Fuji retains its flavor even when stored at room temperature and develops a better flavor when held in long-term storage. An excellent apple for eating out of hand, adding to salads, and making into applesauce.

    • Gala: Developed in 1934 in New Zealand by J.H. Kidd of Greytown, Wairarapa, Gala is a cross of Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious. The thin, red-orange skin — actually red striping over gold — encases aromatic, semisweet, yellowish white flesh. Crisp and juicy, it is a good apple for eating out of hand, using in salads, and pairing with soft, mild cheeses.

    • Macoun: A medium red apple that sometimes has an unattractive gray bloom. However, its snow-white flesh is supercrisp and juicy, and its honey sweetness makes up for its mild flavor. This is most desirable for eating fresh, for snacks, salads, and fruit cups. it also makes good applesauce. Macoun is a poor keeper — it gets soft and loses flavor in storage — so it is rarely available after November.

    • McIntosh: Ranked third in volume in the United Sates and grown throughout the northeastern and upper Great Lakes states, eastern Canada, and British Columbia. A medium red-on-green apple, with sweet flesh that is crisp, juicy, and slightly perfumed. Macs are excellent to eat fresh in autumn; later, they are best used for applesauce. McIntosh apples collapse when baked whole or in pies.

    • Winesap: Winesap is one of our oldest apples still in commercial production. Although it is grown in most apple-producing regions, its easiest volume comes from the Northwest and the Mid-Atlantic states. The Winesap is of medium size, with a thick red skin and crisp, crunchy, and juicy flesh. The flavor is sweetly tart with a winy aftertaste. An excellent all-purpose apple.

    • Jonagold: A red hue with hints of yellow, a hybrid of the Jonathan Golden Delicious and bears a faint physical resemblance to both. Like the Golden Delicious, Jonagold is sweet and thin-skinned, but it takes from the Jonathan a smooth skin and tart flavor. It is versatile and can be used in any recipe calling for apples.

    • Cameo: Juicy, crisp, and sweet with just a touch of tart, the Cameo is thought to come from both the Red and the Yellow Delicious. That explains its shape as well as the somewhat striated look of its red-and-yellow skin, which is thicker than the Golden Delicious but thinner than the Red. Try substituting Cameos for Goldens in baking and cooking recipes. This variety is especially delicious when eaten raw.

    • Granny Smith: Bright-green skin, hard feel, crisp bite, and extremely tart taste. The green skin usually has a touch of rosy red when very ripe. Some savor the tartness, others prefer to cook it, which sweetens it up. It is an ideal complement to savory foods such as onions and salty foods like cheese. On an aesthetic note: The green skin provides a great visual element to any dish.

    • Braeburn: This apple has a skin that’s muted red with golden-yellow undertones and tinges of faint green. It produces a firm, crisp bite and offers a pleasing balance between sweet and tart. Firm to the touch, Braeburns are good for baking as well as eating just as they are.

    • Honeycrisp: Bright red and pale green outer skin and a cream colored crisp yet juicy inner flesh. With a sweet yet slightly tart flavor, this variety of apple is great for salads, baking, cooking or eating as a snack. The Honeycrisp Apple was created to grow well in cooler northern climates. It is a variety that stores well.

    • Rome: A big, round apple right out of storybooks. Romes have mild, sweet flavor. Most popular for baking because it holds flavor and shape well. A Southern favorite.

    • Pink Lady. Crisp, very sweet and slightly tart. Light red, pink and light yellow-green striped skin. Good for cooking and eating.

     

     

    Apple Facts and Fun!

    • 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
    • 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
    • About 100 different varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
    • A bushel of apples typically weighs between 42 and 48 lbs.
    • Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
    • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
    • Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.
    • United States consumers ate an average of 45.2 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products. That’s a lot of applesauce!
    • 61 percent of United States apples are eaten as fresh fruit.
    • 39 percent of apples are processed into apple products; 21 percent of this is for juice and cider.
    • The top apple producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which produced over 83 percent of the nation’s 2001-crop apple supply.
    • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
    • In 2001 there were 8,000 apple growers with orchards covering 430,200 acres.
    • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
    • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit. Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
    • Did you know you can carve an apple to make a doll?
    • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
    • In Europe, France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.
    • Apples are a member of the rose family.
    • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 bushel boxes.
    • 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air. That is why they float.
    • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
    • Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.
    • In colonial time apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
    • China is the leading producer of apples with over 1.2 billion bushels grown in 2001. The U.S. is number 2 and then Turkey, Poland and Italy.
    • Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London.
    • One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
    • America’s longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.
    • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.

    (Apple facts courtesy of  http://www.pickyourown.org)

    Proper selection of apples will ensure the most delicious pie, applesauce or dessert you’ve ever had.  Click here for more facts on apples, the best places to go apple pickling, along with step by step instructions for canning apples.

    Thanks for reading!

     

     

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