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Bowl of Apples

The Most Common Types of Apples

Did you know apples are the most varied food on earth? There are well over 7,000 varieties, more than 2,500 of which are grown in the United States. Below are descriptions of the more common types, including flavor profiles and best uses.




This apple is good for a variety of uses, including eating out of hand and baking. It has a rich, spicy-sweet flavor and is crisp and juicy. Its color varies from orange to red over a yellow background.




Empire premiered in New York and was so named after the Empire State. It’s a cross between a Red Delicious and a McIntosh. It’s crisp and juicy and has a sweet-tart flavor, making it a good all-purpose apple.




Named for Mt. Fuji in Japan, where it was originally developed, this popular variety is very firm and sweet. Fuji apples are typically striped yellow and red.




Very sweet, juicy and crisp, this variety is ideal for snacking. It can vary in color, from cream to red-and-yellow striped.


Golden Delicious


Like its name suggests, this variety has pale yellow skin, sometimes with a red blush. This all-purpose variety, with its mellow and sweet flavor, is good for eating out of hand and baking. It’s also good for salads because its flesh resists browning.


Granny Smith


Known for its distinctive green flesh and very tart flavor, this variety is a favorite as a snack or in pies and sauce.




Like a Jonathan apple, from which the Idared is derived, this variety has a tangy flavor. It has a bright red color and is good for snacking as well as baking because it holds its shape.




A cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious, this variety has a unique honey-tart flavor and is crispy and juicy. It is excellent for eating fresh and cooking and has a yellow-green base skin color and red-orange blush.




This variety is known for its use in pies and applesauce. It has a crimson color and a spicy tang that blends well with other varieties in sauces and cider.




Discovered by John McIntosh in 1811, this well-known variety is juicy, tangy-tart and deep red in color. It is best used for snacking and applesauce.


Red Delicious


With a color called “solid midnight red,” this variety is the most widely recognized of all the U.S. apple varieties. It is best eaten fresh or in salads.


Rome Beauty


Known as the “baker’s buddy,” this variety is primarily used for cooking and is especially good baked or sauteed. It’s mildly tart and stores well.

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