This week, I welcome Brianna Shales of Stemilt Growers, back for National Apple Month. Autumn is busy time of year for Stemilt and Brianna has agreed to share her knowledge of the different varieties of apples harvested by Stemilt. Check out these delicious varieties and be sure to pick some up at your local supermarket while they’re in-season!
October is National Apple Month, and also the time that many apples are harvested by Stemilt Growers in Washington State. There are more than 7,500 different varieties of apples grown worldwide, and in the United States, 100 apple varieties are grown commercially. With flavors ranging from super-sweet to tart, a variety of colors, and a multitude of uses, there certainly is an apple for everybody.
To help you celebrate National Apple Month, I thought it would be neat to share five must-try apple varieties, and what makes them worthy of including in your shopping cart.
- Fuji: This crisp, juicy, and bi-colored apple consistenly has the highest brix, or sugar levels, of any apple that Stemilt grows. The super-sweet flavor of Fuji is reminiscent of freshly pressed apple juice. Fuji apples tend to be larger in size than most and are fantastic for snacking, salads, and baking.
- Granny Smith: This apple sits at the other end of the sweet-tart spectrum. Granny Smith is crisp and tart, with a lemon-like flavor that is bound to make your mouth water. It’s the famously green apple that people are fond of for fresh eating and all types of baking and cooking.
- Honeycrisp: This apple likely needs no introduction as it has quickly become the most sought-after fall apple. Just like its name implies, Honeycrisp apples are crisp (they fracture like no other apple) and have a honey-like sweetness. This is a great snacking apple when it’s in season. Also, be on the lookout for SweeTango apples in stores. SweeTango is part Honeycrisp and part Zestar and has a bold sweet-tart flavor with hints of fall spices. Its season is even shorter than Honeycrisp.
- Gala: This bi-colored apple variety has a mellow sweet flavor with hints of vanilla. It tends to be smaller in size than most apples, which means it’s the perfect snacking apple. Add slices of Gala to a green salad or enjoy the apple with peanut butter or cheese, you really can’t go wrong with this great apple.
- Pinata: Stemilt’s signature apple certainly offers a surprise for your taste buds. And, even though you might not see it in stores until the New Year, it’s still one to be on the lookout for. Pinata is a new variety with heirloom parentage. It’s a combination of Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg. This apple trio combines to create a crisp and juicy apple with balanced sweet and tart flavors and a tropical twist. Look for Pinata in stores nationwide January through April.
No matter what variety you choose, you can feel great about eating apples. They are naturally free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium, low in calories, and a good source of dietary fiber. What apple varieties are your “must try’s” each year? Have you tried any of the 5 varieties listed above? Share your thoughts on apples in the comment section below!