There are so many different types of apples across the sweet-tart-crisp-crunchy spectrum (and at Whole Foods Market, there’s a wide selection of organic options too). But what’s the difference between, say, a Gala and a Fuji? And what apples are best for applesauce? And chips? And other perfect fall recipes? Here are some favorite varieties and what to do with them based on their textures, flavors and sizes. Because it definitely matters.
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Mildly sweet and juicy with a vanilla-like fragrance, this apple is an ideal addition to a berry oatmeal. Its thin skin makes it kid-friendly, and it’s also perfect for slicing and serving raw.
If there was ever a perfect apple for snacking, this might be it. It’s fragrant, sweet and tart. Plus, its shatteringly crisp texture works well when used as a topping on open-faced sandwiches.
Due to their low acidity, these ultra-sweet, crispy and juicy apples are a go-to choice for snacking and baking, as well as homemade baby food or apple butters.
Crunchy, tart and juicy, this is the ultimate apple to pair with a classic applesauce. Toss in a few cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon for extra flavor.
These apples have a crunchy skin with a floral aroma. Best when uncooked and used in fresh preparations, like a smoothie or kale salad.
These all-purpose apples have floral accents with hints of tartness. They’re sweet, juicy and great for cooking because of how well they hold their shape.
Available only in the early fall, their crispness and sweet-tart flavor are hard to resist on their own. These apples also shine with a caramel or chocolate fondue.
View recipe: Warm Spinach Salad with Apple and Robusto Cheese
Crisp and crunchy, these apples sport a pleasantly sweet flavor with nuances of banana and pear. They’re slow to brown, making them great in fresh-sliced recipes.
View recipe: Apple Sandwiches with Granola and Peanut Butter
These pink-red apples are crisp with a juicy flesh and a complex sweet-tart flavor. Well-suited for a fresh fall salad.
Apple Selection, Storage and Prep
Look for apples that feel firm, smooth and heavy for their size, with no bruises or wrinkling on the skin. As apples ripen, they give off ethylene gas, which shortens the storage life of some other vegetables, so keep them in a bag in your refrigerator’s crisper and remember to wash apples before eating them.
Supplier We Love: Rainier Fruit Company
With an operation older than their home state of Washington, the Zirkle family has seen lifetimes of change in the apple world. In the 1960s, fourth-generation grower Bill Zirkle and his father developed their small farm into a fully integrated grower, packer and shipper, and in 1974, he founded Rainier Fruit Company opens in a new tab as part of a plan to market and sell the family’s fruit. Bill’s son Mark Zirkle came into the business as the fifth generation and is the current CEO of Rainier Fruit. Today, Mark continues a tradition of innovation and future-focused approaches as multiple sixth-generation family members now come into the storyline, building on wild pollinator management and environmental footprint reduction.