Sweet and delicate, with no tartness. In other words, ladylike.
One bite yields sweetness with a hint of spice.
You’ll get ivory flesh and intense, aromatic flavor.
If you had to create a classic “apple” flavor in the lab, it would be modeled on the Mac: juicy, fresh, sweet, and bright—everything an apple should be.
Aficionados are fanatical about this heirloom’s nutty, almost pearlike flavor—no wonder it’s part of the lineage of many modern apples, including, you guessed it, Gala.
Fresh picked, York is a perfect balance of sweet and sharp. It keeps especially well, becoming sweeter and more mellow after several months
This variety is tart but honeyed; luscious yet subtle. When eaten fresh, it serves up a particularly high level of vitamin C.
Picked in November, this late-season apple is a staple in supermarkets because its thick skin helps it travel
Think Golden Delicious is bland or boring? You’ve probably been eating fruit that was picked too early and stored too long. A ripe, fresh-picked GD is exceptionally rich, even custardy.
Often described as “sprightly” because of its balance of sweetness and acidity, Cortland browns more slowly after cutting than most other apples, which makes it great for fruit salads.
Macouns were in the ’80s what Honeycrisps are today—the “it” apple variety. While consumers have moved on, chefs still treasure Macouns for their intensity of flavor and a movie-sound-effect crunch.
One of these oversize green apples can easily feed two people, though its boisterous tang may incline you to keep one all to yourself.
Great for eating fresh, Fujis are too juicy for baking. Use them to add a touch of sweetness in salads (like this Turkey Wheatberry Salad) and slaws.
Grown primarily for food manufacturers—bigger apples mean easier peeling and less waste—these giants are still available at some farm stands in the northeast. A single apple can make an entire pie.
Tart + sweet = hard not to love.
It wows with its succulent texture and spice. Choose fruits with yellow skin over ones that are green.
Expect explosive juiciness and smack-you-over-the-head sweetness.
Liberty’s bright flavor wins over lovers of tart apples, who find this variety mostly at farm stands in the Northeast.
The princess-pink skin draws most people to this apple. It has a mild but pleasant flavor and plenty of crunch. (Is it really bad to eat an apple without washing it first?)
Sweet and crisp with a hint of tropical fruit.
Tart-apple lovers, can we hear you say hallelujah? This late-season apple (look for it at the end of October) has a complex flavor—was that a hint of anise?—that improves with age. Even better: A fresh GoldRush will keep in the refrigerator until summer.
It’s zippy, almost effervescent.
Crunch! [a dribble of juice down your chin] Bam! [a burst of ambrosia]
Growers on five continents created the marketing consortium IFORED to develop this specialty apple, which has red flesh for maximum antioxidants. Fans-to-be: anyone obsessed with cramming more phytochemicals into their day (for more on that, see what happens when a superfood scientist shops at the farmers market).
Early iterations were too sour for mainstream tastes. Through patient experiments, growers are said to have tamed the extremes and are on their way toward perfecting a classic.