Apples, each one is different. All those names are clues to tell you about great uses for them, or what they will taste like or perhaps where they hail from. The thing is there are an awful lot of them…somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,500. Some are great to pick up and eat, some are great for baking, some, well some have great personalities. To make matters worse, even if you were to buy an apple that you love, take the seeds and get them to grow into a tree, there is no guarantee that it will grow that kind of apple. In fact you can’t be too sure that you won’t get a bitter little crab apple.
Luckily there aren’t that many styles that are grown for commercial use in the US. If you are setting up your homestead you can have a wider range of apples. That would be pretty darn cool, but it’s a discussion for another day. Of course there are still about a couple hundred varieties that you might find at your local store or orchard. I won’t even come close to telling you about that many, but I might just tell you about a few.
This one came from New Zealand as a chance seedling. It’s very juicy and rather sweet, but lacks that rewarding crunch. Many places list this as a good eating apple, but I like it for baking.
This one hails from Japan and was a purposely made cross, a descendant of the Red Delicious. It is sweet, but slightly tart and crisp. This is a great apple to eat out of hand.
This one comes from right here in Virginia. It is crunchy and tangy and is a very early apple. This one is good for eating, but also great for baking.
The Red Delicious calls Iowa home. It is sweet but has very mild flavor. Some people (like me) refer to it as rather bland. It is alright for eating, but not a good choice for cooking or cider.
This iconic green apple comes to us from Australia. It has a great flavor and is very tart. It is grand to eat, but also a great choice for baking.
Another apple from the US. It is sweet with a tangy finish. It is one of the first apples that I will reach for when making a batch of cider.