After a long summer of squishy apples, nothing says fall like the crispness of that favorite fruit when it’s in season. But if the only apple types you know are "red,” “green” and “yellow,” it’s time to learn a thing or two about the fruit that keeps the doctor away. Whether you’re baking a pie or looking for the perfect lunchbox accompaniment, here’s a guide to a few common apples you’ll find at your supermarket or farmers market.
Empire: If you like crunch in your apple, this could be the one for you. A balance of sweet and tart, the Empire is delicious eaten fresh.
Fuji: This common supermarket apple is crisp, sweet and slightly earthy-tasting.
Honeycrisp: Like the name suggests, these are very sweet and crunchy. They work well in pies.
Gala: Mild-tasting with a thin skin, these apples are a good pick for kids’ lunch boxes.
Granny Smith: A classic for baking but on the sour side for snacking.
McIntosh: Macs are tart with a creamy, soft flesh. They’re perfect for snacking but aren’t the best for pies and other recipes.
Pink Lady: A cross between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams apples makes for a super-sweet, tropical-tasting fruit. These work well for baking.
Red Delicious: First cultivated in the 1880s, these have lost flavor over the years, bred more for toughness than flavor, making for a bland apple with a tough, chewy skin.
Winesap: Find these at your farmers market. While not really a substitute for a glass of wine, they do have an interesting sour-tart taste.
Yellow Delicious: No relation to the Red Delicious, these apples are sweet, soft and work well for baking. They don’t keep long, though, so use them fast.