But there are tons of apple varieties to suit any taste and any cooking purpose, and plenty of recipes for apples that will change the way you think about the fruit. If you only stick to familiar Red Delicious or McIntosh types, you haven't really tasted everything apples have to offer.
Come to the Rodale Institute Organic Apple Festival, Saturday September 11, 2010!
Here’s a breakdown of some popular apple types and how to enjoy them:
Braeburn: Crisp, aromatic, sweet-tart; good for both cooking and snacking
Cortland: A white-fleshed slightly tart, all-purpose apple
Empire: Juicy, sweet, and great eaten out-of-hand
Fuji: Sweet and crisp
Gala: Sweet with crisp, yellow flesh, and good for salads and snacking
Golden Delicious: An all-purpose variety with mild, crisp flesh
Granny Smith: Firm, juicy, with a distinctly tart flavor
Jonagold: Tangy-sweet and good for salads or baking
Idared: Firm and good for desserts and cooking
McIntosh: Slightly tart, very juicy, and good for all purposes
Red Delicious: Sweet, juicy, familiar, and best fresh and in salads
Rome Beauty: Best for baking
Winesap: All-purpose, spicy, tart, and juicy
Remember to buy apples grown with organic methods whenever possible. Organic apples are grown without synthetic pesticides, so you'll avoid exposing yourself to those chemicals. Organic agriculture doesn’t dump toxic chemicals into the soil and water, plus, it traps carbon that might otherwise contribute to global warming.
Recipes for apples:
Applesauce and apple pie are traditional dishes for apple-harvest time, and easier to make than you think. You can also try these Rodale Recipe Finder recipes that feature apples in salads, sandwiches, and more.
#1: Apple Buckwheat Pancakes. Apples add sweetness to these whole grain griddle cakes. Try sweetening cooked cereals like oatmeal with apples, too.
#2: Vegan Waldorf Salad. This light, mayo-free take on the classic Waldorf Salad retains all of the tangy flavor and crunch of the original.
#3: Melted Swiss, Smoked Turkey, and Apple Panini. A fantastic lunchtime option that's warm and extra-satisfying on a crisp autumn day. Make it a meal by adding a small green salad.
#4: Apple Orchard Pork Chops. Pork and cooked apples are a perfect pair. For a variation, pair pork entrées with apple puree or baked apples.
#5: Apple Strudel. Frozen whole wheat phyllo dough makes assembling this pastry treat a snap.