Monday, November 5, 2007

Not the One

We have been an exclusively Granny Smith household. Then the other day I had an apple that was not a Granny Smith. To my surprise, I found that it was good - it was crisp and not too sweet and quite eatable. Could it be that there are other apple types that are lunch-worthy? The only other apple cultivar that I am familiar with are Red Delicious, or as I like to call them, Red Not So Delicious.

Unfortunately, I had no idea what cultivar this good one was. But it's autumn, and there is a dizzying array of apple varieties available, so I tried another apple.

Alas, McIntosh apples were not what I was looking for. Traditionally the most popular cultivar in New England, I thought that McIntoshs had a reputation as a good eating apple, but if they do, I don't agree. They're not good for eating. They're a little too mushy. But they did turn out very nicely for my apple pie, baking into succulent, sweet little pieces. And hot, cinnamon-sprinkled mushiness on top of a flaky crust is much preferable to the cold, plain mushiness at the bottom of the lunch bag.


  1. Actually I think that McIntosh apples are amazing and delectable and I crave them! But you have to get a good one. Any apple can be mush if it hasn't been handled well or the season has been off in that area. In my opinion, the Red Delicious is the worst apple around.

  2. Anonymous1:59 PM

    This hasn't been the best year for apples here in NE Ohio. However, I still suggest you take a nice Saturday afternoon drive out to the far East side and patronize the apple orchards. Expand your apple red horizon and sample a few of my favorites including Macoun, Melrose, Northern Spy, and all the others you'll never see at your grocery.

  3. McIntosh apples can be extremely crisp, with a great balance of sweet and tartness. They have to be very fresh though. For some reason they get sandy and mushy much faster than other apple varieties. Jonamacs have similar flavor and I think they last longer. The West Side Market never seems to have very good apples, but if you feel like going south towards Amish Country you can find great apples for not a lot of money.

  4. I'm not living in the same part of the country as you, but where I am, the best apple variety I can think of are Honey Crisp. I mean, these puppies are everything an apple should be. Everyone I know who likes apples can lay down their individual preferences and love this one. I've never seen them at a grocery store though. Only apple orchards and farmer's markets.

    (And I second the Red Delicious comments. Gross.)

  5. Anonymous7:14 PM

    for eating straight up, only fuji apples for me! they are perfectly crunchy, even when not out of the fridge, are perfectly sweet, and perfectly not-too-sharp-of-a-skin.

  6. I have been buying my apples from the Riggins family of Willoughby Hills Apple Farm. They have a stand at the Coit Road Market and have a variety of apples, all hand-picked by Mr. Riggins. They have and/or had Wealthy, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Cortland and more.

  7. Anonymous9:04 AM

    I think Macs are the best! However I like them at the beginning of the season, when they're being sold a tiny bit under ripe. They are super crunchy and have a fantastic G Smiths.

  8. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Cortland is the one of choice in this house.

  9. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Honey Crisp apples are the best. Sort of a cross between granny smith and red delicious.

  10. I grew up down the street from an apple orchard in MA and have to say that if you like your apples crunchy, sweet, and tart, McIntosh apples are the best to eat up to 2 days after they have been picked if you can't pick them right off of the tree. I'm really picky about the texture of my apples as well and usually stay with Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious in the fall.

  11. I just got my second bag of Honey Crisp apples from Whole Foods - normal ones, not organic. They're by far the best I've ever had. I used to be a Fuji fan, but Honey Crisp = AMAZING.

  12. MacIntosh apples are crap.

    Empire and Melrose are good general apples. Northern Spys too. Gala and Braeburns are widely available. Mutsus are a nice variation--they're a little softer in taste than the grannies. Why not Golden Delicious?

    For grocery store apples, stay away from the Pink Lady--it's stinky like roses! And Cameos are too soft in texture and taste watery.

    My first word was "apple." I was a connessiuer from a young age.

  13. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Another vote for Honey Crisp here. Best. Apple. Ever.

  14. -Honey crisp

    I buy in that order depending on availability / freshness. I've tried almost every kind of apple that exists in our big-time apple growing state (WA), and these are my winners for eating raw. Other kinds of apples are GREAT for baking and using in recipes however, much better than the above list. I think you were asking about raw apple eating though...this is just my very subjective 2 cents! :)

    -beast mom

  15. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Fuji - sweet with a nice crunchy, acid bite. good keeper too.

    Braeburn - A bit more acid than Fuji, and not as good a keeper.

    Pink Lady - Good sweet to acid balance with nice crisp flesh. Fragrant too.

    I can't take a mealy or oversweet apple. I'm going to have to try a Honey Crisp now.

  16. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Cortland is what you want. I am a Granny Smith girl for sure, and i think Honey Crisp are too sweet, and Macintosh are too soft. Cortland is where it's at, if you're not eating a tart green granny.