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Apple guide

Prep time Total time Serves

They supposedly keep the doctor away, we have one in our throat, a few more in our eyes, you can be one whether you’re good, bad or rotten, its falls close to the tree if you resemble your parents, they even qualify discord, contention, and dissension…

How do you like them apples?!

With so many varieties kicking around, who can keep up? Here’s a little guide to help you choose the right one for your needs and/or preferences.

Fun Apple Facts

  • Apple trees originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago, and their wild ancestor is still around today.
  • Oddly enough for such a “good” and popular fruit, its latin genus name is Malus, which translates to “bad”.
  • The apple tree is part of the rose family.

  • Now they’re everywhere, but there was no such thing as an apple in North America before Europeans wandered over. Some historians speculate that it was the French in Port Royal (Nova Scotia) who first planted apple trees in 1606.
  • Apple seeds contain cyanide but the number of pips needed to pack a lethal punch is so immense that even the most over the top apple lover is extremely unlikely to eat enough of them to cause any harm (let alone death).

The Apples

Belmac.
Point of interest: Good all-purpose apple.
History: Bred in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and introduced in 1996.
Characteristics: Thick skin - red & green stripes. Greenish white, juicy, firm flesh.
Taste: Sweet & aromatic.
Uses: Snacking (raw), baking, juicing, drying, jams & jellies.
Storage: Stores well.

Cortland.
Point of interest: Hardly browns when sliced.
History: Bred in Cortland County, New York, from McIntosh & Ben Davis.
Characteristics: Yellowish crimson-speckled skin. White, crisp flesh.
Taste: Very sweet, yet quite sour & aromatic.
Uses: Snacking (raw), sauces & jellies.
Storage: Eat quickly. Initial sweetness & crispness fade after a few days.

Empire.
Point of interest: A great choice for hard cider making.
History: Hybrid of McIntosh & Red Delicious. Introduced in 1945.
Characteristics: Bright red with light green blush of stripes. White, crisp flesh.
Taste: Sweet-sharp flavour of Red Delicious & tartness of McIntosh.
Uses: Snacking (raw), drying, hard cider making.
Storage: Stores well.

Gala. (Royal Gala*)
Point of interest: 2nd most popular apple in the U.S. in 2006 (after Red Delicious).
History: Originated in New-Zealand in the 1930s.
Characteristics: Orange colour with vertical stripes & mottling. Crunchy, juicy.
Taste: Very fragrant & aromatic. Less tart most apples.
Uses: Snacking (raw), salads, sauces.
Storage: Store just above freezing or eat quickly.

* The Royal Gala has most of the same characteristics but is much redder in colour and was introduced in 1977.

Golden Delicious. (Smoothee*)
Point of interest: Despite its name, it’s not closely related to the Red Delicious.
History: Chance hybridization first found in West Virginia in the early 1900s.
Characteristics: Yellowish-green skin.  Crisp yellow flesh.
Taste: Very sweet & honeyed, yet quite tart.
Uses: Snacking (raw), salads, apple butter, sauces.
Storage: Bruises & shrivels easily. Handle carefully & eat quickly.

* Golden Delicious is also sometimes sold under the registered trademark Smoothee®.

Honeycrisp.
Point of interest: Honeycrisp® is a registered trademark of Minnesota University.
History: Released into the commercial world in 1991.
Characteristics: Abundant red & yellow-green mottling. Super crispy & juicy.
Taste: Delicate honey flavour.
Uses: Snacking (raw).
Storage: Doesn’t keep. Eat quickly.

McIntosh.
Point of interest: Takes its name from John McIntosh, an Upper Canada farmer.
History: Wild seedlings found along the Saint Lawrence in the early 1800s.
Characteristics: Thick red & green skin. Crisp white flesh (tinged with green & pink).
Taste: Perfect balance of tart & sweet.
Uses: Snacking (raw), salads, baking, drying, juicing, sauces & jellies.
Storage: Bruises easily. Flesh becomes pasty. Eat quickly.

Mutsu.
Point of interest: Also known as the Crispin.
History: Bred in Japan’s Mutsu region in the late 40s, from Golden Delicious & Indo apples.
Characteristics: Yellow-green skin. Extra crisp creamy white & juicy flesh.
Taste: Sweet & refreshing.
Uses: Snacking (raw), salads, baking, drying, juicing.
Storage: Stores well.

Spartan.
Point of interest: Its complete genetic identity remains a mystery.
History: Bred in British-Columbia by a formal scientific breeding program.
Characteristics: Bright red skin with patches of yellow-green. Crisp white flesh.
Taste: Sweet with hints of McIntosh tartness.
Uses: Snacking (raw), juicing.
Storage: Stores well.

 

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