An Apple a Day...

Dietetic Intern, University of Buffalo
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 1:40pm

Snowfall is not the only thing New York is famous for ... we also happen to be ranked #2 nationwide in agriculture production of apples!

Around this time of year apples are everywhere, and with so many different kinds and varieties to enjoy comes the question: Which type of apples should you use in your recipe? Each type has its own unique flavor profile, texture, and shelf life. While some apples are great for apple pies, sauces, and crisps, others are best raw instead of cooked. Use the following guide to prepare foods with apples:

  Description Uses Storage
Cortland Its flavor is a mix of sweet & acidic, very juicy, good for salads. Discolors very slowly after being cut. Snacking, salads, pies and sauces Does not store as well after harvest
Empire With its white flesh, Empires are sweet/tart, crisp, juicy, and firm. Snacking, salads, pies and sauces Keeps well
Honeycrisp Crisp, sweet-as-honey-flavor with only a hint of tartness. Snacking, salads, pies and sauces  
McIntosh Sweet and juicy with a tender white flesh and pleasant tanginess. Crisp at harvest but become softer with time. Snacking, salads, pies and sauces Does not store well
Granny Smith Sharp and tart taste. Firm flesh retains shape when cooked. Flavors holds well in recipes with hints of spice. Great raw or cooked. Keeps well
Red Delicious Sweet, crisp, and grainy. Lack tart taste and rich apple flavor. Best for snacking and salads. Does not store well
Golden Delicious Crisp, juicy flesh especially good for baking. The best flavors develop in cooking, great for butters or sauces. Good in pies: holds its shape when baked. Has thinner skin does not store well
Gala Smaller apples with rich juicy flavor. All-purpose apple for salad, snacking and baking, but especially good for sauce. Keeps best in refrigerator
Fuji Sweet, firm flesh Best eaten raw or for sauce. Can use in baking. Stores well
Jonagold Balanced flavor of sweetness and tartness Holds up well in baking. Good for apple crisp, pies, sauces as well as salads or snacking.   
Learn more about various types of apples and the best way to use them.

Don’t see your favorite apple in this chart? Here are some links for more information on what different apples are good for.

Although the uses for certain types of apples may differ, they all have one thing in common - nutrition! Apples are not only tasty but are great sources of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants! The type of antioxidants found in apples - called flavonoids - help protect DNA from damage that can cause cancer. That alone is a reason to chomp on a juicy apple! Apples are also fat-free and low in calories!

Whether we enjoy them au naturale as a refreshing snack to-go, or soft and sweet in warm apple pie, we New Yorkers like our apples, and we know how to use them. Somehow mom's old saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" just might be true! So what are you waiting for? Here are some recipe ideas to get you started: