Apple Varieties

From "Arkansas Black Apples" to "Winesap Apples"

An apple isn't just an apple. The range of varieties at many farmers market is inspirational – some crisp, some sweet, some perfect for snacking, others better suited to making apple pie. Find wonderful varieties well beyond the classic Red Delicious below. Then learn more about apples before hitting the farmers market or going to pick your own.

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    Arkansas Black Apples

    Arkansas Black Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Arkansas Black apples are tart and noticeably tannic (that's the feeling you get from red wine that makes your mouth feel like all the moisture has been sucked out of it). For people who crave a tart apple for snacking, there is no finer. They're also a perfectly decent baking apple.
  • 02 of 18

    Cox's Pippin Apples

    Cox's Pippin apples just may have the best apple name ever. They have yellow skin and yellow flesh, with a mild apple flavor. A good, solid eating and baking apple popular in the Northeast.

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    Empire Apples

    Empire apples are brilliantly red. They have a crisp texture and spicy flavor. But perhaps best of all, they make a lovely, rosy applesauce. They are also good for eating, but will lose their shape quickly when baked.
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    Fameuse Apples (a.k.a. Snow Apples)

    Fameuse Apples (a.k.a. Snow Apples). Photo © Molly Watson
    Fameuse apples are also known as snow apples, so called because of their snow white flesh. They are a parent of the delightfully scented McIntosh apples. They're tangy and sweet and great for eating or baking.
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  • 05 of 18

    Gala Apples

    Gala Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Gala apples are a great eating apple. Crisp, firm, sweet. Many people find they taste a lot like the more commonly available Golden Delicious apple.
  • 06 of 18

    Golden Delicious

    One of the more common ly available varieties listed here, Golden Delicious apple have a flowery aroma and sweet flavor. They keep their shape so much when cooked that they are not recommended for applesauce. Of course, that makes them perfect for pies and tarts.
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    Gravenstein Apples

    Gravenstein Apples
    Gravenstein Apples. Photo © Molly Watson

    Gravenstein apples are the first apples to ripen--in August--on their home on the West Coast. Gravensteins are fairly tart, crisp, and very juicy. They are good eating apples, great baking apples, and make particularly good applesauce.

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    Hawaiian Apples

    Hawaiian Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Hawaiian apples are crisp, firm, and very sweet. Better for eating than baking, and perfect for those who like sweet, rather than tart, apples.
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  • 09 of 18

    Honey Crisp Apples

    Honey Crisp Apples. Photo © Molly Watson

    Ahh, Honey Crisps. Their name says it all. Sweet and crisp and juicy, these are great eating apples.

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    Jonathon Apples

    Jonathon Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Jonathon apples have a rich, almost creamy texture and particularly tart, spicy flavor. A great eating apple, since they are so juicy. They also bake well.
  • 11 of 18

    Lady Apples

    Lady Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    These dainty, tiny little things are irresistible - at least to me. I love their green-and-red coloring and their three-bite size. They are, to my mind, truly snack size.


  • 12 of 18

    McIntosh Apples

    McIntosh apples are pretty red-and-green apples with a good sweet-tart balance and a crisp, juicy texture, They are great eating apples but turn to mush almost immediately when cooked.
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    Mutsu Apples (a.k.a. Crispin Apples)

    Mutsu (a.k.a. Crispin) Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Mutsu apples were first grown in Japan. They are a cross between a Golden Delicious and an Indo. They have a creamy white flesh, crisp, juicy texture, and mellow apple flavor. They are great for eating and baking.
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    Northern Spy Apples

    Northern Spy Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Northern Spy apples are one of the great eating apples, known for complex flavor. Sweet and tart, crisp and juicy. They also bake well.
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    Pink Lady Apples

    Pink Lady Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Pink Ladies are definitely pretty in pink. Light red on the outside, they have a delicate, sweet, pink flesh. A great eating apple.
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    Rome Beauty Apples

    Rome Beauty Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    Rome Beauty apples are crisp and firm. Great for baking, since they hold their shape well. they tend to be a bit dry and so are less commonly used as eating apples.
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    Sierra Beauty Apples

    Sierra Beauty Apples. Photo © Molly Watson
    If you like tart apples, Sierra Beauty apples are for you. Super tangy, nice and crisp. Good for eating or baking.
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    Winesap Apples

    Winesap apples are small. very firm, crisp apples. They have a slightly spicy flavor that's great for eating and baking. An excellent storage apple.