How to live apple-y ever after

Apple varieties

Check out these awesome apple stats: There are 7,500 varieties grown throughout the world, 2,500 here in the U.S., although only 100 are grown commercially in the States (fun fact: apples are grown in every American state). You’ll likely find only about a dozen or so at your local supermarket, but you may score more unique or surprising kinds at your farmers market—be sure to ask for recommendations!

There are types that are better for cooking and baking, making sauce, tossing on a salad, and eating raw. The key is to know which varieties to pick for which uses, as tastes can range from sweet to tart to sour and textures can vary.

Best for baking
What to look for: Selections that provide a nice flavor (somewhere between sweet and tart) and have a firm texture so they won’t break down and will keep their shape during the cooking process. You can even try a combo of apples for a more interesting result.
Try: Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Braeburn, Jonagolds, Crispin (also called Mutsu), Pink Lady

Best for eating
What to look for: You’ll want one that’s sweet and juicy with a crunchy consistency
Try: Gala, Red or Golden Delicious, Fuji, Ambrosia, Enterprise, Honey Crisp. If you enjoy a more tart apple, try Braeburn, McIntosh, Empire, Granny Smith.

Best for a salad
What to look for: An apple that doesn’t brown quickly and is firm enough to hold its shape and provide a nice crunch.
Try: Ambrosia, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp

Best for applesauce
What to look for: Tender with a sweet flavor, although you can also choose tart apples if you prefer it slightly less sweet
Try: Mcintosh, Braeburn, Macoun, Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala