An apple isn't just an apple. The range of varieties at many farmers market is inspirational – some crisp, some sweet, some perfect for snacking, others better suited to making apple pie. Find wonderful varieties well beyond the classic Red Delicious below. Then learn more about apples before hitting the farmers market or going to pick your own.
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Arkansas Black ApplesArkansas Black apples are tart and noticeably tannic (that's the feeling you get from red wine that makes your mouth feel like all the moisture has been sucked out of it). For people who crave a tart apple for snacking, there is no finer. They're also a perfectly decent baking apple.
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Cox's Pippin Apples
Cox's Pippin apples just may have the best apple name ever. They have yellow skin and yellow flesh, with a mild apple flavor. A good, solid eating and baking apple popular in the Northeast.
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Empire ApplesEmpire apples are brilliantly red. They have a crisp texture and spicy flavor. But perhaps best of all, they make a lovely, rosy applesauce. They are also good for eating, but will lose their shape quickly when baked.
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Fameuse Apples (a.k.a. Snow Apples)Fameuse apples are also known as snow apples, so called because of their snow white flesh. They are a parent of the delightfully scented McIntosh apples. They're tangy and sweet and great for eating or baking.Continue to 5 of 18 below.
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Gala ApplesGala apples are a great eating apple. Crisp, firm, sweet. Many people find they taste a lot like the more commonly available Golden Delicious apple.
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Golden DeliciousOne of the more common ly available varieties listed here, Golden Delicious apple have a flowery aroma and sweet flavor. They keep their shape so much when cooked that they are not recommended for applesauce. Of course, that makes them perfect for pies and tarts.
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Gravenstein apples are the first apples to ripen--in August--on their home on the West Coast. Gravensteins are fairly tart, crisp, and very juicy. They are good eating apples, great baking apples, and make particularly good applesauce.
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Hawaiian ApplesHawaiian apples are crisp, firm, and very sweet. Better for eating than baking, and perfect for those who like sweet, rather than tart, apples.Continue to 9 of 18 below.
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Honey Crisp Apples
Ahh, Honey Crisps. Their name says it all. Sweet and crisp and juicy, these are great eating apples.
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Jonathon ApplesJonathon apples have a rich, almost creamy texture and particularly tart, spicy flavor. A great eating apple, since they are so juicy. They also bake well.
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Lady ApplesThese dainty, tiny little things are irresistible - at least to me. I love their green-and-red coloring and their three-bite size. They are, to my mind, truly snack size.
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McIntosh ApplesMcIntosh apples are pretty red-and-green apples with a good sweet-tart balance and a crisp, juicy texture, They are great eating apples but turn to mush almost immediately when cooked.Continue to 13 of 18 below.
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Mutsu Apples (a.k.a. Crispin Apples)Mutsu apples were first grown in Japan. They are a cross between a Golden Delicious and an Indo. They have a creamy white flesh, crisp, juicy texture, and mellow apple flavor. They are great for eating and baking.
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Northern Spy ApplesNorthern Spy apples are one of the great eating apples, known for complex flavor. Sweet and tart, crisp and juicy. They also bake well.
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Pink Lady ApplesPink Ladies are definitely pretty in pink. Light red on the outside, they have a delicate, sweet, pink flesh. A great eating apple.
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Rome Beauty ApplesRome Beauty apples are crisp and firm. Great for baking, since they hold their shape well. they tend to be a bit dry and so are less commonly used as eating apples.Continue to 17 of 18 below.
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Sierra Beauty ApplesIf you like tart apples, Sierra Beauty apples are for you. Super tangy, nice and crisp. Good for eating or baking.
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Winesap ApplesWinesap apples are small. very firm, crisp apples. They have a slightly spicy flavor that's great for eating and baking. An excellent storage apple.