The apple can be traced back to the Romans and Egyptians who introduced them to Britain and finally to America. Today, Americans eat about 120 apples apiece each year. At least 50% of the domestic crop is used in items we use every day such as, applesauce, juice, jellies, pies and other popular desserts. (Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).
Choose apples that are firm with no soft spots. Avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.
Keep apples in plastic bags in the refrigerator after purchasing to prevent further ripening. Apples should keep up to six weeks. However, check apples often and remove any apples that begin to decay or the others will do the same.
Wash apples well with soap and rinse with water. Prepare apple dishes just before serving to minimize browning (oxidation). Protect cut apples from oxidation by dipping them into a solution of one-part citrus juice and three parts water.
There are about 2500 known varieties grown in the US. Thirty-six states grow them commercially with the following as top producers, WA, NY, MI, CA, PA, & VA. 56%of the 1999 crop was eaten as fresh fruit and 42% was processed.
Braeburn Available Oct. through July High flavor impact. The crisp, aromatic Braeburn blends sweetness and tartness just right for snacks and salads. Its color varies from greenish-gold with red sections to nearly solid red.
Golden & Red Delicious Available year round Goldens firm, white flesh retains its shape and rich, mellow flavor when baked or cooked, making it the preferred "all purpose" cooking apple. The skin is so tender and thin that it doesn't require peeling. The red is the favorite for eating.
Fuji Available year round Like fine wine, its flavor improves with age. Fuji's spicy, crisp sweetness makes it an excellent snack or as applesauce. Fuji varies from yellow-green with red highlights to very red.
Gala Available August through March Heart-shaped, distinctive yellow-orange skin with red striping. It has a crisp, sweet taste that can't be beat. Is the perfect take-along snackanytime. Great in salads.
Jonagold Available September through April A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, offering a unique tangy-sweet flavor. With a yellow-green base and a blush stripe. Jonagold is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking.
Rome Beauty Available September through July Baker's dream, but Also a great eating apple. Smooth, blazingly bright red skin with sweet, slightly juicy flesh. Primarily cooking apples, with flavor that intensifies and becomes richer when baked or sautèed.
Granny Smith Available year round Mouthwatering tartness. Bright green Granny with a pink blush has a crisp bite and a tangy flavor. Its tartness really comes through when baked and sautèed. Enjoy Granny Smiths out of hand or in a salad.
Winesap Available October through August The apple with old-fashioned flavor. The Winesap has a spicy, tart, almost wine-like flavor that makes it the cider maker's first choice. Violet red in color, it's great as a snack and in salads.
McIntosh Available October through December McIntosh is juicy, slightly tart, yet very aromatic with white flesh and a rather tough skin that is two-toned red and green coloring. It's a favorite apple for eating, but is also widely used in salads, sauces, pies and is a mainstay in fresh cider.