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A guide to apple varieties
Arkansas Black. Prized for its dark red color; keeps a long time. Crisp, moderately juicy, sprightly subacid, best for eating. Very hard texture; let it sit for a week before eating. Late season.
Barkley Rome. Large, green with red stripes. A good semi-acid eating apple that keeps its shape for baking.
Blushing Gold. A cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious, this all-purpose apple is yellow with pink blush, sweet-tart flavor and firm texture.
Braeburn. This eating apple from New Zealand shows dark scarlet blush over a yellow-green background. Semisweet, very juicy, keeps well. Late season.
Blacktwig. A juicy, aromatic winter variety with greenish flesh.
Calville Blanc d'Hiver. Classic French dessert apple, long prized in Europe for eating, cooking and juicing.
Cameo. A relatively new introduction from Washington, this pretty all-around apple is pale yellow with red stripes. It's crunchy with a sweet-tart flavor.
Empire. Red with creamy white flesh, this cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious is an eating apple from New York state. Early to midseason.
Gala. Yellow with orange-red stripes, yellowish flesh, fine texture -- firm, crisp and very sweet. Excellent applesauce and eating apple. Early season.
Glen Seedling. Developed in Oak Glen, this is a big green apple with a fiery blaze; a good cooking apple.
Granny Smith. This mid- to late-season apple is grass green with white or pink spots, crisp and juicy, tart ("sour-apple" flavor); gets sweeter in storage. For eating out of hand, cooking and cider.
Grimes Gold. An heirloom variety (1802) from West Virginia. Crisp and slightly tart, with excellent keeping quality. Early season.
Honeycrisp. Lemon yellow, mottled with scarlet, this new midseason variety is extremely crisp and juicy with aromatic, coarse flesh; subacid flavor.
Jonagold. A Jonathan-Golden Delicious cross, this apple is yellow, highly blushed and striped. It's crisp and juicy, coarse-textured; good for eating fresh as well as for cooking. Keeps extremely well.
Lura Red. Sometimes spelled Lara Red, it's an all-around apple, good for blending in apple sauces and pies.
McIntosh. Introduced in 1811, it's sweet and soft with juicy, white flesh and good flavor.
Mutsu. Also known as Crispin, this is a newish variety, yellow with orange blush. The flesh is coarse but crisp, juicy; excellent out of hand; also good for applesauce.
Northern Spy. Pale yellow with pink blush, this mid- to late-season all-around apple is very tender and crisp, quite juicy and aromatic. An heirloom variety from New York state.
Paul's Big Green. Unique to Wood Acres -- found growing under a Red Delicious -- evidently a Delicious cross. It's like a green version of Red Delicious, but with coarser, crisper flesh.
Pink Lady. A very sweet late-season eating apple with smooth pink skin and white flesh.
Rome Beauty. A versatile midseason variety, excellent for baking and fairly good for eating -- crisp, firm, slightly aromatic. Discovered in Rome, Ohio, it's a longtime mainstay of Oak Glen.
Roxbury Russet. Mottled green to yellowish-brown, this apple is a russet (non-shiny) variety. It's juicy and spicy -- good for eating fresh or crushing for juice and cider.
Seek No Further. Deep yellow with carmine stripes and yellowish flesh, this is a good eating apple: crisp, tender, juicy, rich and peculiarly aromatic.
Sekai Ichi. A Red Delicious-Golden Delicious cross developed in Japan, this is a very large fruit (up to 2 pounds) -- crisp, juicy with a sweet, mild flavor.
Sierra Beauty. This yellow, red-blushed apple originated in Mendocino in the 1880s. Sweet-tart flavor, stores well. Midseason.
Spartan. A Pippin-McIntosh cross, this early- to midseason apple is solid mahogany red -- very firm, crisp and juicy. Fairly sweet, it softens but holds its shape when cooked.
Spitzenberg. Bright red with yellowish flesh, it's delicious eaten fresh: very aromatic, with perfect sweet-acid balance.
Stayman Winesap. (Also called Winesap.) Gets its name from its tangy, wine-like flavor. This is a late-season apple mostly used for cooking, pies and cider. Very firm, juicy and fragrant.
Vasquez. Crisp, tart, aromatic.
Virginia Winesap. Yellow, heavily striped with firm, juicy, yellowish flesh. First noted in 1817, it keeps well.
Winter Banana. Pale yellow with a pink blush, this apple really does have a slight aroma of banana. Originated in Indiana 130 years ago, it's sometimes harvested in Oak Glen until April. An eating apple, too mild-flavored for cooking.
-- Charles Perry