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What are the Different Types of Apples?

Apples come in a delightful variety, each with unique flavors and textures. From the crisp, sweet Honeycrisp to the tart Granny Smith, there's an apple to suit every palate. Red Delicious offers a classic taste, while Fuji apples blend sweetness with a hint of citrus. Discover your favorite—how will you savor the diversity of nature's candy? Keep exploring with us.
A Kaminsky
A Kaminsky

As autumn approaches, people begin to think about fall flavors. Apples play a large part in this, since they ripen in September and October. While they are enjoyed year-round, the fruit is at its best in the fall. They come in a wide variety of tastes and textures, and just about everyone has a favorite kind. Fujis, Galas, and Golden delicious are popular eating apples, while Granny Smiths and Arkansas Blacks are often preferred for cooking.

Many people prefer to eat apples straight from the basket, and many varieties are good for eating like this. Fujis are one of the top varieties, and some say they are best for eating. Fujis are sweet, slightly crisp, and available year-round in most grocery stores. Galas are also a favorite, easily found in most stores, and are more tart than the Fuji.

Red Delicious apple.
Red Delicious apple.

Galas and Fujis are red apples. The most popular yellow apple is the Golden Delicious. It is a cross between a Granny Smith and a Red Delicious and maintains some of the traits of both varieties. The Golden Delicious is a little more tart than the Red Delicious, but not as crunchy as a Granny Smith.

The Red Delicious, with its lobed bottom and rich red color, is probably the most well-known of the eating apples. It has a mealy texture and a sweet flavor with hardly a hint of tartness. It does not hold up when cooked because of its texture.

Granny Smith apple.
Granny Smith apple.

Another good eating apple is the Jonathan. It is sometimes available in stores, but is best from a local orchard. The Jonathan is red with a crunchy texture and a sweet-tart flavor that holds up in cooking. Other eating apples found in stores are Ida Reds, Yorks, Rome Beauties, and Winesaps.

Some varieties are better suited for use in cooking, and the premiere pie apple is the Granny Smith. It is very crunchy and tart, and holds its shape well. It is good for pies, crumbles, crisps, or other recipes in which a tart apple is called for.

Yorks, Rome Beauties, and Winesaps are also good for cooking, if a red apple is preferred. Yorks, with their softer texture, make good applesauce, and they also do well for crisps, in which shape is not as important.

Gala apple.
Gala apple.

Rome Beauties and Winesaps are good in pies, in applesauce, and for slicing and serving with caramel dip, since they are more tart. These varieties are also great for caramel or candied apples, when a more tart fruit is needed to offset the sweetness of the caramel and candy coatings. Granny Smiths work well for caramel apples, too.

The Arkansas Black is best used for cooking. It has a very firm texture and a tart flavor that hold up well. It sweetens a little when cooked, and so is ideal for recipes that call for apple slices to be served with pork tenderloin, for example, or with pork chops and sauerkraut. It is most commonly available from the local orchard.

Golden Delicious apple.
Golden Delicious apple.

Buying apples from the local orchards is always a good way to try new varieties, since sellers will often have slices from all their varieties for shoppers to taste. Orchard owners can also offer suggestions about what uses a particular apple is best suited for. Buyers can also get just a few pieces of fruit at a time to test them and see which varieties they like best.

Fuji apple.
Fuji apple.

Apples are great fruit for cooking or eating. They offer many nutrients in a small package, and people are rarely allergic to them. Whether buying them from a store or the orchards, shoppers should look for firm fruit with no mushy spots. The fruit should smell fresh and the skins should be mostly unmarked.

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Discussion Comments


I use Cameo and Gala to make apple sauce. I use very little sugar and sometimes no sugar at all. I find this so natural. My grand children love it. There is never any left over.


They didn't include a lot of apples.


Excuse me, the best apple for pie, is the Northern Spy! It even rhymes.


I'm also disappointed by this article. A more straightforward listing of apple varieties and hybrids would be appreciated.


Well, just goes to show and prove that you can't very well please all the people all the time. How do you all like them apples!


You didn't mention the Honey Crisp, a medium tart honey tasting newer variety that has a short season and is delicious. Another lesser known variety is the Ginger apple, which speaks for itself. It is a light green to yellow large apple.


I am amazed to find that the finest cooking apple of them all - the Bramley Seedling - doesn't get a mention, not even in the foregoing posts! But on the other hand, I will be looking out for the Macintosh, although I've never seen it here in the UK.


Right. Pink Ladies and Honeycrisp--they're wonderful. As are Macintosh, Jazz, Gravenstein, Cameo, and a whole lot of others. How about Pippin? Jonathan and Jonagold?

The thing is, for a site called "wisegeek," a bit of science about the genetics of apples would be appropriate. A link to a more comprehensive list of varieties would be appreciated.

Look up "apple" and get a much fuller description of the plant, the history of the fruit, how it arrived in various continents from Asia. Wow! there's lots of facts about apples, and only a handful of the most common varieties and how they taste in pies are mentioned here.

I love this site, but this is not up to standards. Sorry.


I had the pleasure of meeting an expert, and collector, of heritage apples. He mentioned a c.1850 catalog; I don't remember the number of varieties that he said were listed, just that it was in the hundreds.

I also learned that depending on the variety, the apple may ripen as early as July or August. There's also one variety that is not used directly off the tree; it's put in storage until it 'blets' (rots) to edibility.


I wouldn't say Galas or Fujis are red. They are mostly golden or even pinkish in color with flecks or stripes of red on them.

By the by, to make apple butter, core, peel and quarter 6 lbs. tart cooking apples; bring to boil in 6 cups apple juice or cider, reduce heat, cover, simmer 30 min. Press through a sieve so you have 13 cups pulp. Return pulp to pot, stir in 3 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg, bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered 2 hours, or till thick. stir often. There's your apple butter!


Why is the green apple not discussed? In the Philippines at least I find the green variety which my family and others use to make great salad, for example, fruit salad for dessert


You failed to mention my favorite, the McIntosh. Sweet, crunchy and delicious.


Thank you for this timely article. Apples (and Honey) are symbolic for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which begins sunset 18 September. Dipping a slice of apple in honey sympolizes hopes for a sweet New Year.

We offer as gifts of a few varieties of apples at the end of services. Most popular being MacIntosh. L'Shanah Tovah!

To all - whether embarking on a new school year, or celebrating beautiful autumn, I wish everyone peace and good health and sweeter times.


There was no mention of MacIntosh apples. Coming from New England, the MacIntosh is the best for eating.


Are we terrestrial? The Macintosh the unadorned, unhyped, ultimate plain Joe is unbeatable. Most of the 'pretty' apples are almost totally tasteless. The Mac is oldtimey and as familiar as an old friend.

I should know: Dan in the Big Apple.


I recently tried the Southern Rose from New Zealand which was quite good - crisp and sweet.


Could you please post a circumstantial story about apple butter?


One of my favorite apples is Honeycrisp, but I also like Pink Lady. It is rather recently that I have discovered these apples, even though Honeycrisp has been around since 1991 and Pink Lady since late 1980's. I like the taste, with the right amount of sweetness and crispness of a perfect apple. One downside though is that they are not available year round, but they do store well in cool places.

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    • Red Delicious apple.
      By: denphumi
      Red Delicious apple.
    • Granny Smith apple.
      By: xiangdong Li
      Granny Smith apple.
    • Gala apple.
      By: TristanBM
      Gala apple.
    • Golden Delicious apple.
      By: volff
      Golden Delicious apple.
    • Fuji apple.
      By: Thibault Renard
      Fuji apple.
    • Applesauce.
      By: rimglow
    • A Honeycrisp apple.
      By: robert lerich
      A Honeycrisp apple.
    • Buying apples from local orchards is a good way to try different varieties.
      By: altocumulus
      Buying apples from local orchards is a good way to try different varieties.
    • Most apple pie recipes call for Winesaps or another tart cooking apple.
      By: CandyBox Images
      Most apple pie recipes call for Winesaps or another tart cooking apple.