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The Apples of Our Eyes: 11 Most Popular Varieties

Gala. Developed in 1934 in New Zealand by J.H. Kidd of Greytown, Wairarapa, Gala is a cross of Kidd’s Orange Red and Golden Delicious. The thin, red-orange skin — actually red striping over gold — encases aromatic, semisweet, yellowish white flesh. Crisp and juicy, it is a good apple for eating out of hand, using in salads, and pairing with soft, mild cheeses.

Ida Red. This apple was scientifically developed in 1942 at the University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station. It is a cross between a Jonathan and a Wagener. Although it is grown in greatest volume in the northeastern and upper mid-western states, its production is increasing by popular demand throughout the country. It is medium to large, bright red, and has creamy white flesh that is very firm, crisp, and juicy. All-purpose apples, the sweetly tart, deliciously spicy Ida Reds are especially good for snacks and desserts, and their firm quality makes them particularly desirable for baking. The flavor improves after several months in controlled-atmosphere storage.

Macoun. A cross between a McIntosh and a Jersey Black, this is a medium red apple that sometimes has an unattractive gray bloom. However, its snow-white flesh is supercrisp and juicy, and its honey sweetness makes up for its mild flavor. This is most desirable for eating fresh, for snacks, salads, and fruit cups. it also makes good applesauce. Macoun is a poor keeper — it gets soft and loses flavor in storage — so it is rarely available after November.

McIntosh. John McIntosh discovered this apple in Ontario, Canada, in 1830. Ranking third in volume in the United Sates, it is grown throughout the northeastern and upper Great Lakes states, eastern Canada, and British Columbia. It is a medium red-on-green apple, with sweet flesh that is crisp, juicy, and slightly perfumed. Macs are excellent to eat fresh in autumn; later, they are best used for sauce. McIntosh apples collapse when baked whole or in pies.

Northern Spy. This apple originated at East Bloomfield, New York, around 1800. Today, it is grown mostly throughout the Northeast, the northern Midwest, and eastern Canada. This is a medium-to-large apple with a pale green-to-yellow undercast, heavily striped with red. its mellow, creamy flesh is crisps, juicy, and richly aromatic — qualities that are prized by the commercial processing industry. it is an excellent all-purpose apple and freezes well. Because it is a biennial bearer, Northern Spy is declining in popularity with commercial orchardists.

Winesap. Thought to have originated in New Jersey in the late 1700s, Winesap is one of our oldest apples still in commercial production (Newtown Pippin is the other). Although it is grown in most apple-producing regions, its easiest volume comes from the Northwest and the Mid-Atlantic states. The Winesap is of medium size, with a thick red skin and crisp, crunchy, and juicy flesh. The flavor is sweetly tart with a winy aftertaste. it is an excellent all-purpose apple.

Read more: Basics, Eating for Health, Food, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian,

Adapted from Apple Cookbook, by Olwen Woodier. Copyright 2001 by Storey Communications. Excerpted by permission of Storey Books.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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+ add your own
8:57AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

We're also missing HoneyCrisp. Great for pies and crisps!

2:23PM PDT on Oct 11, 2007

we're missing 'granny smiths'! ;)

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Well, I'm a blubbering, cooing mess!

Yes I knew there was a definition. As there is for many different food products with specific recipe…

Cute, but only for cats. Please don't try to emulate.

Thanks for sharing.

anything for a treat :)


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