How to Pick the Right Apple

Apple, my precious??

From a young age we are taught the importance of choosing the right apple (thank you, Snow White), but how on earth do we go about doing that?

There are a few things to remember:

1. The most obvious is to choose fruit that isn't bruised, buggy, or in the case of Snow White, poisonous.

2. Next, we want to pick an apple that has a color that appeals to our senses. If you love dark red, eat a Red Delicious; or a Golden Delicious if yellow is your thing.

3. The most important thing of all, though, is choosing the right hardness of apple for what you want to do with it. So, why is hardness so important? Remember the time when Junior went to school and his apple turned to mush by the time lunch came around? Or when you made a pie and it ended up more like apple soup? That's because although some apples are tasty, they aren't firm enough to handle a ride in Junior's back pack, or when cooked, they can't handle the heat and become mushy.

To help you understand the hardness of an apple and its uses, I have compiled a simple list of the most common apples eaten in the United States below. However, if you are a more visual person, there is also a chart that can quickly help you out, without any bad apples on it ;0)

  • Red Delicious

great for snacks and in salads

NOT good for baking

  • Golden Delicious

the all around apple

good in pies, salads, snacks, you name it.

  • Gala

good for snacks, especially in Junior's lunch bag

NOT good for baking (remember the apple pie soup disaster??)

  • Fuji

a nice crisp apple, so it's great for eating

stores well

makes good applesauce

  • Granny Smith

tart, but works great as an all purpose baking apple, as it is firm and withstands heat. No more applesauce pie :0)

also good for snacks and salads (don't forget the caramel sauce!)

  • McIntosh

a sweet, sometimes tart apple

another all-around apple

  • Jonathan

tangy and sweet

great for sauces and pies

good for salads and snacks

  • Empire

a mix between a McIntosh and a red delicious

a sweet-tart apple that works particularly well with freezing

also good for snacks, baking, and sauces

Once you have picked the apple that is just right, how do you store it? Everyone has seen that poor apple that is wrinkled and unappetizing, and we don't want that for your apples.

For short-term, the counter will work just fine. They can last 2-4 days without any problems.

For longer-term, the fridge or a cold fruit room works best. Place your apples in a bowl with a damp paper towel or cloth on it, as apples like cold and moisture to last longer.

For really long storage, wrap your apples in paper and then store in a cold place. The paper keeps the ethylene gas that is produced by the apples from rubbing off on other apples. (Note: ethylene gas is a simple product of the ripening process of fruits and vegetables and is harmless, unless you are an apple)

Some don'ts to know about:

· Don't store your pretty apples with a bad/bruised apple or it will ruin them all. Bad apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, which can over-ripen other fruits.

· Don't store apples near potatoes or onions, as these vegetables give off a lot of ethylene gas like a bad apple.

· Don't store your apples below freezing, as that will turn your apple to mush when it thaws.

After you have picked the right apple for the job, checked to make sure it isn't poisoned, and stored it well, it's time to enjoy!!


    Elise Grant
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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