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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
As you stroll through the produce section you’ll notice the many varieties of apples.
You might see the ever popular, familiar Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala and Yellow
Delicious. But what about those you might not be familiar with, like the Braeburn,
Winesap, Fugi, Rome, or even Jonathon. Which is best for cooking, which is best for
eating, which is the best all-around apple?
If you tend to only reach for one variety, it’s time to wake up your taste buds and
take them on a trip down apple lane. Next time you go to the grocery store or farmers
market, buy one of each variety and try them out.
When shopping for apples, look for those that are firm, crisp, and well colored. If
they are soft, leave them; they will have a mealy texture. If the apple has brown
streaks on the skins (called scald), it’s perfectly fine to eat. This doesn’t affect
the flavor or texture and is safe to eat; it just won’t win any beauty contests.
Apples should be stored in a dry, cool place for up to 1 week. The humidifier compartment
of your refrigerator is the place to store them, in an unsealed bag. If stored there
they should retain their quality for about 1 month.
There are over 2,500 apple varieties grown in the United States and available on the
market today, although most people have only tasted a few of the more popular ones.
Apples can be sweet, tart, soft and smooth, or crisp and crunchy, depending upon the
one you choose. There is an apple to suit almost everyone’s taste. Try these different
varieties and see which one you like best.
Braeburn is great for snacks and salads. It has high impact flavor and blends sweetness
and tartness. It's good in baking, applesauce and for freezing. Its color varies from
greenish-gold with red sections to nearly solid red.
Fuji's crisp sweetness and firm flesh make it an excellent eating apple. It's equally
good in baking and is a favorite for applesauce. Fuji store well and, like fine wine,
the flavor improves in storage. Skin color varies from yellow-green with red highlights
to very red.
Gala are crunchy, with a flavor that is sweet and tart with elements of tropical fruit
that make these apples versatile and able to be paired with bold flavors. They can
be put in salads, paired with poultry and served as a main dish, or boiled down to
make savory sauces.
Golden Delicious has white flesh and a sweet-tart flavor that can be enjoyed fresh
or for baking. Add them to green salads, fruit salads or grain salads. Or bake them
into crisps, crumbles, tarts, cakes, and breads. These pair well with savory items
as well, such as cheese, onions, cabbages, and pork.
Granny Smith is green, tart, juicy, and crisp. An all-around apple excellent for pies,
sauces, baking, freezing, snacking and salads. Thought to have descended from an Australian
grandmother named Maria Ann Smith.
The Honeycrisp apple has a bright red and pale green outer skin with a cream colored
inside. It's crisp yet juicy flesh has a sweet yet slightly tart flavor that makes
it great for salads, baking, cooking or snacking. It does not freeze well.
Pink Lady has a firm, crisp, tangy-tart, sweet flavor. Great for baking and snacking,
it is only available November to August. The apples get their distinctive bright pink
color from the crisp fall Washington nights.
Arkansas Black will keep up to four months in cold storage and improve in flavor and
texture. The color is a vivid red to dark purple with golden hued flesh and a juicy
fine grained, crisp texture. Its aromatic sweet-tart flavor mellows and becomes more
palatable with storage. The flesh also softens during storage. It can be baked, sautéed,
roasted, and juiced to make cider and jams. These originated in Benton County AR,
and are available at roadside stands and farmers markets in Northwest AR.
Regardless of the variety you buy, apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble
fiber. Soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood
vessel walls, while the insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract.
When eating out of hand, eat apples with the skin on to increase your insoluble fiber
content. Also almost half the vitamin C content is just below the skin. So peeling
your apple means peeling away great nutritional benefits.
Get your free copy of Arkansas Fresh Apples by contacting the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Miller
County at 870-779-3609, room 215 in the Miller County Courthouse, or e-mail me at
This Double Apple and Dried Cherry Salad is very easy and colorful. It was recently
made for a Diabetic class and everyone loved it.
Double Apple and Dried Cherry Salad
1 large tart apple, diced
1 large sweet apple, diced
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 Tsp each ground cinnamon & nutmeg
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Add apples to medium bowl. In a small bowl add pineapple juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg
and vanilla. Stir well. Pour over apples and add cherries and walnuts. Mix well. Let
stand 10 minutes or longer before serving to allow flavors to blend.
Calories 107, Sodium 4 mg, Carbohydrate 16g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Total Fat 5g, Protein
Yield: 8—one half cup servings
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.