Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It’s Apple pickin’ time: The definitive guide to pick-your-own apples nationwide Part 2 – What’s Your Favorite Variety?
Always remember, the best variety of apple is the one that appeals to your individual taste.
The following is a list of apples and their characteristics. Just click on the name of the apple variety for a picture.
Arkansas Black: Harvested later in the season; dark purple to almost black in color; medium to large size fruit with hard texture; stores well and is great for baking.
Braeburn: Another later seasoned fruit; yellow base color with orange/red blush and red stripes; originated in New Zealand in 1952; medium to large fruit with cream colored crisp, juicy, slightly tart flesh that stores well.
Cortland: Sept. through early October harvest; a purple hued dull red apple with white soft flesh; it is a McIntosh cross with less aromatic properties; keeps well and is excellent in salads.
Empire: Another McIntosh hybrid crossed with Red Delicious; originally introduced in New York State in 1966; dark red with creamy white flesh that is juicy with a slight acidity; most enjoyable eaten when fresh but keeps well for a long period of time; also great for desserts and cider; often available starting in October.
Gala: An early season harvest originally developed in New Zealand; a heart-shaped fruit with yellow and red stripes; aromatic and sweet tasting; small to medium in size fruit; makes wonderful applesauce, good in salads, and eating fresh picked.
Golden Delicious: An old-time favorite introduced in West Virginia in 1900; generally mid to late Sept. harvest; large yellow-gold fruit with tender skin; has crisp, firm sweet and flavorful flesh; works well in salads and blended in applesauce; requires careful picking as it can easily bruise.
Honeycrisp: A medium to large sized, red over light greenish/yellow apple sometimes covered with flecks of reddish/brown; juicy, sweet, aromatic, and crisp; harvested mostly in Sept. it was first introduced in Minnesota and makes excellent eating and apple juice.
Jonathan: A medium sized fruit with a tart yet sweet taste; developed in New York State in 1896; tougher red over greenish/yellow skin; one of the first apples in the fall and a long-time favorite for eating and cooking.
Jonagold: A cross between Golden Delicious and Jonathan developed in 1968; a large red over yellow apple with crackling, firm slightly tart full flavor; stores well under refrigeration; harvested mid to late Sept.; works well for pies, salads, baking, sauce and snacks.
Liberty: A highly disease-resistant McIntosh-type apple developed in New York State in 1962; a large fruit, red over yellow; great for eating, sauce salads and desserts; flavor heightens when stored.
Macoun: Was developed in 1909 but not introduced to the general market until 1950; size and shape similar to McIntosh but with deeper red coloring and more strip variations; a very sweet, aromatic and firm fleshed fruit known as the New England Dessert apple but also great for eating, salads and sauces; harvest begins in Sept.
McIntosh: An old-time American favorite since 1811; mild and sweet flavor that’s great for eating, salads and as an applesauce blend; harvested at the beginning of Sept. to Oct.
Mutsu: A sweet crisp, greenish-yellow apple, similar to the Golden Delicious it was developed in Japan in 1930; it’s great for fresh eating and applesauce and is generally available the beginning of October.
Paula Red: A tart-tasting apple with creamy light flesh; one of the first-of-the-season varieties to be harvested; small to medium in size, it developed as a mutation of the McIntosh; bright red fruit over yellow with a dusty-sheen appearance; not overly sweet or tart suitable for eating and cooking when softness is desired.
Red Delicious: For years was the most popular apple in the world; great for eating, salads and applesauce; bright to deep dark crimson skin with fine-grained white flesh; sweet simple flavor with refreshing slight acidity; harvested in mid to late Sept. and excellent for eating, salads and applesauce; harvested later in the season.
Suncrisp: Harvested mid to late Oct; a Golden Delicious-type; red over orange colored, hard fruit that keeps well and best for baking.
Vista Bella: A medium sized, dark red over yellowish-green skin; light and juicy flesh akin in flavor to early raspberries; fine eating apple.
Come back tomorrow for the “who, what, where, when and how” of apple picking.