Fall is officially underway and that means that some of our favorite produce items are in season. While some may look forward to the changing fall colors, we get excited about all the apple varieties that flourish during the fall. We aren’t talking about a few apples. We are talking about over 7,500 apple varieties! Well, we actually don’t know about all of those, but there are that many apple varieties around the world.
Apples are crisp and juicy fruits that go well in almost any type of dish. You can put them in salads, fruit salads, desserts, entrees, sauces, or just eat them out of hand. They are filled with dietary fiber and an array of polyphenols, which help to naturally lower cholesterol. They also work to boost the immune system because they are loaded with vitamin C, which helps to fight illnesses and increases the body’s resistance to bacteria.
While we aren’t going to talk about every single apple that exists in the world, think of this as your apple cheat sheet to experiment with new varieties that go beyond the five you already know.
Honeycrisp: Honeycrisp apples have a delicious sweetness that is reminiscent of honey, just as the name suggests. To balance out the sweetness, they have a little tart flavor that leaves you wanting more.
Empire: This is actually a hybrid of a Red Delicious and a McIntosh. This apple was crossbred in the 1960s and has been popular because it is delightfully crisp, making it perfect for salads or smoothies.
Pink Lady: If you have never eaten a Pink Lady apple, get your hands on at least five this fall. They are sharp, juicy, and have a slight pink flesh. Every hint of flavor is prominent without being overpowering. They flourish during the October and November months.
Sweet Caroline: “Sweet Caroline…Wah Wah Wahhhhhhhhh…” We hope you remember that song. In seriousness, these apples have a subtle green color and are sweet and tangy. October through December is when they are in peak season.
Jonathan: These apples are known for their creamy texture and slightly spicy flavor. If you like tart apples, these serve as great snacks or work as detox water ingredients.
Arkansas Black: In case it wasn’t obvious, this apple variety was originally grown in Arkansas. It has a deep red color and has a very firm texture, which is why it has been commonly used to make apple butter or preserves.
Cortland: If you are going to use apple to bake with, make sure you buy the Cortland variety. They have a soft and sweet interior, which means you don’t have to add a lot of sweetness to whatever you decide to bake.
Braeburn: Although this apple is a hybrid of a Granny Smith and a Lady Hamilton, it was discovered in New Zealand, not created in a lab. It is marvelous when eaten out of hand, but it is great for baking because it retains its juices well.
This is one of the tartest apples out there, especially when they are in season. A lot of people use Granny Smith apples to pair with cheeses because of the bold, tart flavor. They are great to eat with raw almond butter and make for excellent smoothie ingredients.
Spartan: If you don’t want to eat an apple that is called Spartan, you may need to get your priorities in check. These are dark red and deliciously sweet, making them great for homemade apple juice!
Try some of these varieties out this fall and let us know how you like them.