By: Ann McMullen
Apples. A refreshing snack, a flavorful baking ingredient, and one of the staple foods of the fall season.
I’ll start with a popular one: Honeycrisp. As the name suggests, these apples are sweet as honey but also have more of a crisp texture than most other sweet varieties. Honeycrisp apples originated in the 1960s through a cross-breeding program at the University of Minnesota, and have been a favorite among consumers ever since. Because of how sweet they are, Honeycrisps are often eaten alone, but their crispness makes them a great option for baking as well. Personally, I think a plain Honeycrisp apple makes a great snack!
Granny Smith’s are easily the most well known green apple. They’re also known for being more tart than other varieties, making them a great option for baking. Taking a bite straight out of a Granny Smith apple may not be for everyone, but combining them with sugar and spices in a recipe is bound to create something with great flavor.
A personal favorite of mine is the Pink Lady. These bright red apples are one of the sweetest varieties I’ve tasted. However, what sets them apart from other sweet apples is how soft they are. When combined with the massive amount of juice contained in a Pink Lady, the soft texture makes them nearly melt in your mouth. If I’m going to buy some apples for snacking, these are my go to.
Finally, another locally sourced apple: the Zestar. These red apples are quite unique. They manage to be sweet and tart at the same time, as well as very crisp and juicy. Because of this unusual combination of flavors, a Zestar is a great apple to try on its own. Since they were introduced in Minnesota, they’re a great kind to keep your eye out for at local orchards.
Happy apple picking!