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The Best Apples for Eating Fresh

These apples are my favorites to eat and serve fresh.

These apples are my favorites to eat and serve fresh.

Choosing the Perfect Apples

Different apples are better eaten cooked, and others are best for fresh eating. Different people like different apples, but I am including those that seem to be popular with almost everyone.

Which apple you are looking for will depend on different factors. Do you like a soft apple or a crisper apple? Do you want them to store well? Some apples don't. A few people like a sour apple, but most seem to like a sweet apple, and some apples are sweet and tart. When I purchase apples, I like to choose a type that can both be eaten fresh and made into applesauce too. You need to take all of these things into consideration when choosing which type of apple you want to buy.

Types of Apples

Each type of apple has its own distinct flavor. Try several and find your favorite. My grandmother's favorite was the old-fashioned Jonathon apple, but my kids love the new Honeycrisp. My son wants Golden Delicious every once in a while for its distinct taste.

  • Arkansas Black Apples—This is a sweet apple with a semi-tart taste. The skin is so deeply colored that it almost looks black. It isn't a good cooking apple because the flesh is very firm.
  • Autumn Gala—This apple is crisp and sweet and isn't recommended for cooking. The apple has a wonderful aroma.
  • Braeburn—These apples have a unique flavor all their own with a cross of sweet and tart flavors. The skin is a reddish/orange/yellow on a green background. They store well. It is considered a superior apple for eating.
  • Cameo—This apple is believed to be from an accidental cross between a Golden Delicious and a Red Delicious apple. It has a nice aroma and a firm and crisp texture. The apple is grown in the state of Washington and is rapidly becoming a favorite there. It is said to have a wonderful taste and isn't easy to find everywhere.
  • Cortland—This is a sweet apple. It has extra-white flesh and makes a good dessert apple. It is known as one of the best apples to use when cooking and is slow to discolor after it is cut.
  • Empire—This apple is sweet, juicy, and crisp and is a great eating apple. It is also good for cooking.
  • Fuji—The Fuji is crisp, sweet, juicy, and never mealy apple. It will store well.
  • Gala—This apple is crisp and sweet with a wonderful aroma. It must be refrigerated and then only kept for a few weeks.
  • Golden Delicious—The Golden Delicious has one distinct taste that is nice and sweet. This is an all-around apple that is good for sauce, salads, and fresh eating.
  • Granny Smith—This apple is for those that like a sweet but tart taste. Many people like these for fresh eating, but they are supposed to be especially good for apple pie. The apple is a bright green with a pink blush.
  • Grimes Golden—Has a spicy taste with a tang. It is an older variety that is believed to be one of the parents of the Gold Delicious apple. It has a hint of spiciness that the Golden Delicious doesn't have.
  • Golden Supreme—This is a tasty apple with a smooth texture. It is an all-around apple for both fresh eating and cooking.
  • Honeycrisp—Honeycrisp has an outstanding crisp texture and sweetness. This apple is becoming very popular and a favorite of many people.
  • Ida Red—This is a sweet juicy apple with a firm and crisp flesh. It has a nice odor and works well for both cooking and eating.
  • Jersey Mac—Jersey Mac is a mackintosh apple that ripens earlier than the older variety. It has all of the same good qualities.
  • Jonagold—This apple is said to be juicy, firm, and crisp with a fine texture. It is an award-winning apple which says it all. The apple is a blend of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples.
  • Johnathon—This is an older apple that you don't see as often in the stores anymore. It has a rich flavor and is considered one of the best. It has just a little bit of tartness.
  • Liberty—The liberty is a good-tasting apple that is crisp, juicy, and has a fine texture. It can be used for both cooking and fresh eating.
  • Macoun—This is a crisp apple with a sweet/tart flavor. It is also a good cooking apple.
  • McIntosh—The McIntosh is good for eating and cooking. Some consider this apple the one to compare other apples to when looking for flavor. It is juicy when baked. I use these to make applesauce and fresh eating. I also microwave them for about 2 minutes and have a juicy baked apple.
  • Mutsu Crispin—This is a very juicy apple that is good for both cooking and eating.
  • Paula Red—This is a slightly tart and tangy apple. It is good for both eating and cooking.
  • Red Delicious—Red Delicious is a crisp apple that is good for fresh eating but is not good for cooking.
  • Red Rome—This is a sweet and firm apple that is good for both fresh eating and cooking.
  • Winesap—Winesap has a spicy flavor all its own. The apple is popular for making cider but is good for fresh eating too.

There are many more regional favorites that I didn't include, but these are the most popular and well-known on the market. After you find your favorite, buy a bagful.

Golden Delicious—This apple isn't listed above, but it is one of my favorites.

Golden Delicious—This apple isn't listed above, but it is one of my favorites.

© 2011 Barbara Badder