Focus on Fruit: Apples

I’m sure just about everyone has heard the admonition: An apple a day keeps the doctor away and wondered exactly what that meant. Basically it’s because apples are one of the most beneficial fruits. They’re fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free as well as being an excellent source of fiber!

There are approximately 7500 varieties of apples grown world-wide with some having longer harvest seasons, etc. so there is much more out there than the traditional red apple most are familiar with.

I’ve never been partial to the traditional red apple so I’ve chosen to share a few of my favorites which are not only diverse in flavor but also in color, size, shaping which add to keeping a strikingly pretty arrangement if you like to display them in a fruit bowl like I do.

The Golden Delicious apple is excellent for eating fresh, pies & salads; Very good for baking, making apple sauce or apple butter. A Good-quality Golden Delicious apple will be firm with smooth, clean skin and range in color from light green to pale or creamy yellow. Less mature product will be light green and have a somewhat tart flavor. More mature golden delicious will have a clear yellow color and will be sweeter. Some golden delicious may have a wash of pink color or blush across the "shoulders," the result of warm sunny days and cool nights. Fresh Golden Delicious apples are available from Washington from September through November while cold storage product is available from January through August.

The Granny Smith apple gets its name from its founder, Mrs. Mary Ann (Granny) Smith. Granny Smith apples are crisp, juicy, and tart which makes them perfect for either baking in pies, stewed in sauces or eating out of hand. They’re also great in salads because once cut, they keep their color longer than other apples.Fresh Granny Smith Apples are available from Washington from September through November while cold storage product is available the rest of the year.

Ambrosia means "Food of the Gods" and this sweet & juicy apple is aptly named!
The Ambrosia apple is a bi-colored apple with pink blush against a field of creamy yellow. The flesh is also creamy, and very juicy and sweet. It’s a very sweet apple and best eaten fresh rather than cooked. In the Northern Hemisphere, harvest starts in September & controlled atmosphere storage will allow you to enjoy the Ambrosia until February or about four months after harvest.

The Ginger Gold apple is an early-season & short-lived apple. It doesn’t store in controlled atmosphere well, so be sure to enjoy this wonderful apple with a hint of spice while you can! The Ginger Gold maintains crisp white flesh when cut and is great as a snack eaten out of hand. The Ginger Gold also holds its shape when cooked. The Ginger Gold is the earliest local fresh apple available in the fall. However, this apple does not store well, so enjoy it for the short time it’s available.

A cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams notable for its hot pink skin color and lily white flesh. Firm, crisp flesh and a unique, tangy-tart, sweet flavor are characteristic of this apple. Snackers and bakers give the variety high marks in consumer tastings. Cripps Pink, also known as Pink Lady®, is the last apple harvested in Washington state in late October. Crisp fall nights bring on the bright pink color that gives the apple its name. Supplies of Cripps Pink last from November to August.

INFO SOURCE: Produce Oasis Fruits ‘n Vegetables Wikipedia & Angela

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