How to select for best flavor:
Choose apples that are firm and unblemished. Avoid bruised apples or apples with soft spots or spots of decay. The variety is very important because each variety is good for a particular use.
Peak of the season:
Apples are fresh and abundant in the fall. The best time to buy them is from September through October. They store very well and most varieties are available in good quantity through late spring. Summer is the worst time to buy them, since quantity is lower and price is higher.
Apples are a fine source of potassium and vitamin B1. They also provide a good deal of dietary fiber. Their main beneficial ingredient is pectin, and they have been recommended as a cure for diarrhea and constipation. An average apple contains around 80 calories and only traces of fat and sodium.
Apples store very well when kept cool and dry. As they say, “One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.” Wrapping individual apples in newspaper, if you are going to keep them for some time, can avoid this problem. The type of apple you buy will depend on what you plan to use it for. Some the most popular types are:
Red Delicious — This is probably the most common and popular apple available. It has a deep-red color and characteristic five bumps on the blossom end. These apples are sweet and juicy. They are good for eating raw, but not very good for cooking.
Golden Delicious — a yellow variety of the red delicious. They are also sweet and juicy. They’re good for eating raw and can be baked in a pinch.
McIntosh — The color can vary from yellow-green to red with light stripes of pale red or purplish-red. They are very juicy. Good for eating raw, baking, pies or applesauce. It takes less time to cook than most cooking apples.
Rome Beauty — These are bright-red with a yellowish cast. They range from medium size to extra large and are especially good baked or in pies.
Jonathon — These are bright red with purple stripes or yellow with red stripes. They’re good for eating raw, applesauce and pies.
Winesap — These are deep red, often with purplish stripes. They are very tart and good raw. They make excellent cider.
Granny Smith — These are usually bright green. They have a distinctive tart flavor and are especially good in pies. They are also good raw and make good cider.
New Zealand Gala — These apples are imported from New Zealand and they are usually much higher priced. They are golden-yellow color with a beautiful red blush. They have a soft buttery flavor and texture. Their flavor reminds some people of banana.