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Know your Gala from your Fuji

Right now markets are loaded with mountains of apple varieties. But alas, which one is best to smear with peanut butter and which one works for pies? 

Apples in the Big Apple

“The McIntosh has a huge fan base in New York?City and it has for the past 50 years,” says Peter Gregg of the New York Apple Association. “It has a little tartness to it; a very distinct flavor that you can’t find in any other apple.” Empire apples, named after the Empire State, offer a sweeter substitute of the tart McIntosh. “The crop this year is probably the sweetest we’ve had,” he says.

Apple trends

“We’re seeing more and more recipes that use apples in different ways outside of your traditional apple pie, like stir-fries and even mac-and-cheese,” says Allison Parker, Director of Consumer Health and Education for the U.S. Apple Association. “I see a lot more people trying new varieties, too — and I think that’s a great thing for the industry.” One gaining popularity this year is the Honeycrisp.

An apple a day

“It helps prevent and fight cancer, improves lung function — it even helps you lose weight,” says Gregg. “There’s five grams of fiber in large apples,” adds Parker. (You have to eat the peel for the fiber.) Their other benefits: “They’re the original 100-calorie snack,” she says. “They help with Alzheimer’s and lower heart disease.”

Your apple cheat sheet:

Apple: McIntosh
Taste: Tangy
Use it for: Snacking, sauce, pies

Apple: Empire
Taste: Sweet/tart
Use it for: Snacking, salads

Apple: Gala
Taste: Sweet
Use it for: Snacking, salads, sauce, freezing

Apple: Honeycrisp
Taste: Sweet/tart
Use it for: Snacking, salads, pies, sauce, freezing

Apple: Fuji
Taste: Sweet/spicy
Use it for: Snacking, salads, freezing

Apple: Red Delicious
Taste: Sweet
Use it for: Snacking, salads

Apple: Golden Delicious
Taste: Sweet
Use it for: Snacking, salads, sauce, pies

Apple: Granny Smith
Taste: Tart
Use it for: Salads, pies, sauce, baking, snacking

 
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