Apples by cuiliqing

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									                                                                                          Crystal L. Peek
                                                                                    Extension Agent, 4-H
                                                                                      September 8, 2010
                                                                                           276-676-6309



                                      Choosing the Best Apple

“An apple a day may keep the doctor away" is proving true, based on current research. Apples help
in: promoting cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight and protecting against certain
cancers.

There are more than 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, with each variety having
its own unique flavor and best uses. Below are descriptions and uses for several common apples
found at local grocery stores and produce stands in southwest Virginia.

Braeburn – This apple originated in New Zealand in the early 1950’s, as a chance seedling. Braeburn
is a multipurpose apple good for all types of apple uses. Its color varies from orange to red over a
yellow background. This crisp, juicy apple has a rich, spicy-sweet flavor. Available October through
July.

Gala – The Royal Gala, also of New Zealand origin, is a crispy, juicy, very sweet apple. This apple is
ideal for snacking. Galas can vary in color, from cream to red and yellow striped. Usually available
year-round.

Golden Delicious – An old favorite, Golden Delicious apples have a pale yellow skin, sometimes with a
red blush. Mellow and sweet, all-purpose Goldens are great for eating out of hand, baking, and
salads. Golden’s crisp, pale yellow flesh resists browning, making it a good choice for salads and
other dishes. Available year-round.

Granny Smith – This Australian native apple is known for its distinctive green flesh, which sometimes
bears a red blush, and its very tart flavor. An all-purpose apple, Granny’s work equally well as a
snack or in pies and sauce. In the U.S. Granny Smith’s are harvested beginning in August, but
typically available year-round.

McIntosh – This is an old, well known variety. It has a deep red finish which sometimes carries a
green blush. Juicy, tangy tart McIntosh has a tender, white flesh. It is best used for snacking and
applesauce, but some people enjoy its tart flavor in pies as well. (Cook’s hint: McIntosh’s flesh
cooks down easily; for pies cut large slices or add a thickener to the recipe.) Available September
through May.

Red Delicious – The most widely recognized of all U.S. apple varieties, this sweet, crispy, juicy apple
varies in color from striped red to solid midnight red. This apple is best eaten fresh or in salads.
Usually available year-round.

Rome Beauty – Often referred to as the “baker’s buddy,” this apple is famed for its storage qualities.
This mildly tart apple is primarily used for cooking and is especially good baked or sautéed. The
Rome apple is typically available beginning in September.
When storing apples, properly refrigerated apples can have a shelf life of 90 days or more according
to the U.S. Apple Association. For best quality, store apples in a ventilated plastic bag in the crisper
drawer of the refrigerator. Check often and remove any apples that have begun to decay. Do not
store apples and other fruits with vegetables. Fruits give off ethylene gas that can shorten the
storage life of vegetables. Store both fruits and vegetables unwashed to lengthen storage life.

Keep cut apples from turning brown by coating them with an acidic juice such as lemon, orange or
pineapple juice. Cut apples as close to serving time as possible. Cover and refrigerate them until
ready to serve. Refrigerate peeled or cut fruits and vegetables so the total time they are at room
temperature is less than two hours.

For more information on this topic contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office.

Resources:

Henneman, Alice C. “Cook It Quick.” University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. August 2004.

U.S. Apple Association

								
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