10 Types of Apples
Learn all about the different types of apples and the best apple varieties for every recipe. There’s an apple for every need, and they’re all delicious!
You know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and although that might not be all that accurate, apples are healthy and delicious. The thing is, there are many types of apples out there, so how to choose?
Here is all you need to know about apple types, their differences and their similarities. There’s an apple for every recipe, so learning all about them pays off. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are The Different Types of Apples?
Apples are, without a doubt, the most popular fruit on the planet. Everyone’s had an apple, and we all have fond memories of them. Apples are native to Central Asia, but they’ve conquered the world; they now grow in every cold-climate region on the planet. Apples like chilly weather.
After thousands of years, apples have evolved significantly. It’s thanks to apple growers who have patiently selected the fruit to produce new varieties or cultivars. There are now hundreds of varieties of apples on the market, and they’re all delicious. Here are ten types of apples to know and love. What are your favorite apple types?
This relatively new type of apple, developed in the 1980s, is related to the well-known Red Delicious, which will be described in a second. Still, Fuji apples are much sweeter than their predecessors. In fact, this is one of the sweetest types of apples.
Fuji’s sweetness makes it ideal for adding to salads or eating as-is; there’s immense pleasure in every bite. The best part? Fuji apples are not intensely flavorful, so they never overpower other ingredients. Cooking with Fuji apples is not ideal, though, so they’re best enjoyed fresh.
2. Granny Smith
Growers developed these green apples in Australia, where they are still prevalent; they’re also widely used in the UK. Granny Smith apples have a lime green color, and they’re perfect for eating fresh or making pies.
Granny Smith apples are tart and snappy; they’re firm and very juicy. The cultivar’s acidity makes it such a good alternative for baking projects — tartness balances sweetness, resulting in balanced apple pies and tarts. Granny Smith is arguably one of the prettiest cultivars as well!
As their name suggests, Honeycrisp apples have a honeyed richness and a crisp flavor. It is tart, sweet and pleasantly crunchy, these are some of the most popular types of apples today.
You’ll identify Honeycrisps quickly for their gradient color from red to yellow, so get them if you find them. These are prized for their tart juice as well, which can become a balanced and refreshing cider. You can also cook and bake Honeycrisp apples, making them a versatile cultivar.
4. The Pink Lady
Pink Lady is a trademark name for a unique varietal created in Australia. This is a firm, sturdy type of apple with a long shelf life and a lovely natural sweetness.
You might also find this type of apple as Cripps Pink, and you’ll always identify it by its pale red color with yellow and green hues. There are strict production rules for Pink Lady apples—they must meet specific sugar and acid levels to hit the market, which is why they always deliver.
Gala apples are elegant red apples with a lovely gloss and a slim figure. These are not the sweetest or tartest cultivars, but they’re well-rounded and crowd-pleasing.
These are wonderful lunch apples to be enjoyed uncooked, but you can make pies with them—they’re never too sweet or acidic. For an apple that checks all the right boxes without stealing the spotlight, galas might be for you. This is the most produced apple in the United States, and for several good reasons. It might not stand out, but it does the job every time.
Now, for a lesser-known type of apple, Pazazz apples are some of the least ordinary. Their intense red color makes them beautiful, but it’s the apple’s flavor intensity that will charm you.
Pazazz apples are amongst the juiciest and most flavorful types of apples, and they're right up there with Fuji apples in terms of fruitiness. These actually come from Honeycrisp apples and are grown in the US by multi-generational apple growers. There’s quality here, making Pazazz apples an authentic treat.
Envy apples are another trademarked cultivar, and they’re related to Gala apples. Envy apples are of the highest quality, and they’re very consistent — they’re always juicy, snappy, and addictively sweet without being unbalanced.
Growers who choose to cultivate Envy apples go to great lengths to achieve the most incredible quality, making it genuinely superior for apple lovers looking for excellence. Not precisely the best apple for baking, envy apples are still versatile. They’re best enjoyed fresh, though, and as part of salads.
8. Golden Delicious
It is easy to distinguish because of its bright yellow, almost golden color. Golden Delicious apples are just that—delicious. These are tart apples with delicate skin, and they can be consumed fresh or used in baking treats.
Conversely, Golden Delicious apples tend to bruise easily, so they don’t have the longest shelf life. Golden Delicious apples are on the sweet side; they’re less tart than Granny Smiths but crisper than most red cultivars. People often describe these golden apples as honeyed.
Holstein apples are a popular German variety. It’s a sweet-tart apple, created in the early 20th century to become a versatile multi-purpose cultivar. And yes, you can enjoy Holsteins in different ways!
Holstein apples are great in pies and tarts. They make excellent cider, and you can enjoy them as-is. German apple cakes rely on this varietal for its affinity for the oven’s high heat, and although it’s still popular in Germany, apple growers now produce it elsewhere.
10. Red Delicious
The famous Red Delicious apples go back to 1872 in Iowa, USA. This was the most produced apple in America for decades, and it’s still trendy.
This is the typical apple you think of when someone mentions the fruit. A dark, crimson-red skin and a snappy texture make this varietal comforting and familiar. On the downside, although this cultivar is beautiful, it is not the most flavorful of apples, and it can be too starchy. For a while, Red Delicious apples were not particularly popular for their lack of flavor, but they’re now back, and they’re better than ever.
Let’s end our list with a still-unknown apple variety that is gaining popularity fast. Ambrosia apples were discovered in the 90s, and they have surely earned a spot on any top ten list.
Ambrosia apples are multi-purpose, low-acidic, sweet cultivars that pair well with other ingredients. This is the type of apple you want to top your pancakes or your yogurt with. You can also make sweet applesauce with Ambrosia apples, and they do well in savory dishes, too.
As you see, not all apples are the same, but none is better than the others. Try different apples and find your favorite!
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