See also Braeburn, Criterion, Golden DeliciousGranny Smith and Jonagold apples.

The apple is probably everyone’s favorite fruit for its taste and versatility. It pairs well with pork, turns into mouthwatering pies, and is a sweet treat when caramel-coated. All ages can enjoy apples in their many varieties and forms.

Today, China is the largest producer, followed by the United States (with the majority of crops coming from Washington).


There are more than 7,000 apple varieties, many of which are sold according to region. Selection should be based on intended use – some will be high in sugars while others are more tart. The most familiar types include:

  • Braeburn (gold to red) – baking, freezing, fresh, pies, sauce
  • Cortland (red) – baking, fresh
  • Crispin/Mutsu (green) – baking, fresh, sauce
  • Fuji (yellow-green to red) – freezing, fresh
  • Gala (yellow/orange with striping) – baking, fresh, sauce
  • Golden Delicious (yellow when ripe) – baking, freezing, fresh, pies, sauce
  • Granny Smith (bright green) – baking, freezing, fresh, pies, sauce
  • Jonagold (greenish-yellow with a blush) – baking, fresh, pies
  • Jonathan (red) – fresh, dried
  • McIntosh (green-yellow with striping) – fresh, sauce
  • Pippin (green or orange, although there are several varieties) - baking, fresh, pies, sauce
  • Red Delicious (red-ruby) – fresh
  • Rome Beauty (red) – baking, pies
  • Winesap (red) – baking, cider, fresh, sauce

Buying Tips

  • Avoid bagged apples, if possible. Individual selection and inspection will yield the best fruits.
  • The Cortland is highly recommended for salads as it is slow to oxidize.
  • Tart apples (Granny Smith/Pippin) tend to hold their shape better when baking. Add sugars for balance. Granny Smiths are the preferred choice for caramel apples.
  • When in season, buy locally. Markets and stands will have unique varieties. These may not be perfect, however. Expect some blotching and a rougher texture.