Fall is the season for fresh apples. There are more than 100 varieties of apples grown commercially in the United States- amazing! Of those 100, the 15 most popular varieties account for 90% of what is found on the shelves at grocery stores. At Draeger’s, we work to source a good mix of those popular varieties everyone seems to know along with a few more obscure varieties for the more adventurous palate. But, before you pick your apples, there are a few good guidelines our produce experts want you to keep in mind.
Apple Buying Guidelines
Firm Factor: Pick up the apple and gently press a small area of the fruit’s skin. It should be firm to the touch. Avoid apples that are noticeably soft, discolored or indent easily when the skin is pressed.
Visual Exam: As you check firmness, turn the apple completely in your hand to visually check for quality. Some marking on the fruit (like a scuff or specks) come from nature and doesn’t signal a bad apple- especially when you’re looking at organics. But nobody wants a bruised apple!
Color Code: Although color is not the best indicator of a great eating apple, it can be helpful when making your selection. Apples with full color have absorbed lots of sunlight, which leads to great flavor.
Aroma Matters: A fresh, high-quality apple should have a pleasant aroma. This will vary slightly by variety- some apples (like Gala) having a stronger fragrance than others.
Now- Ready, Set, Select Your Variety!
By Tori Draeger, Draeger’s Markets