Kid Activities
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Apple Varieties

December 1, 2009 02:06 by Barbara Shelby



• Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, yellows.

  • 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States and 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.

The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Apples are a member of the rose family.

The most nutritious part of the apple is the skin.


Need some help in picking out the perfect apple for eating, baking or  a recipe? Sometimes it can be confusing when deciding which apples to take home from the produce isle or farm stand!  This will help...The following information comes from "The Apple Journal"

Arkansas Black is well named with a deep red, almost black skin. It is rock hard, sweet and tart and a long storage apple. This apple is renowned for its long shelf life. It's good for making sauce and baking. 
Braeburn has high impact flavor. The crisp, aromatic Braeburn blends sweetness and tartness just right for snacks and salads. It's also good in baking, applesauce and for freezing. Braeburn color varies from greenish-gold with red sections to nearly solid red. Braeburn was discovered as a chance seedling near Nelson, New Zealand in 1952. Its probable parents are Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith.

Criterion apples should be firm with smooth and clean skin. The Criterion has the distinctive shape of a Red Delicious, but has a bold yellow color, often with a red blush. Test the firmness of the apple by holding it in the palm of your hand. (Do not push with your thumb). It should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light. 
Elstar is a firm apple with a reputation for its intense, sweet, tangy flavor, which is especially good for making applesauce. They are a distinctive apple for snacking, in salads and fruit trays. They tend to retain their effervescent flavor and hold up well during cooking. 
Fuji's spicy, crisp sweetness and firm flesh make it an excellent fresh eating apple. It's also good in baking or applesauce and stores well. Fuji flavor improves in storage like fine wine. Fuji skin color varies from yellow-green with red highlights to very red. It was bred from a cross between Red Delicious and Ralls Janet varieties in Japan.

Gala is a favorite for fresh eating. It is heart-shaped with distinctive yellow-orange skin with red striping. Gala is just the right size for snacking and is great in salads, good for baking and very good in applesauce.

Ginger Gold Sweet, tangy and juicy, Ginger Gold apples are an early apple, harvested in August and available until September. This is a crisp and juicy apple with excellent taste. The Ginger gold apples are round with a smooth green-yellow skin that has a slight red blush. Ginger Gold apples were discovered in a Virginia orchard in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Golden Delicious has firm, white flesh and sweet crisp flavor. It is the preferred "all purpose" cooking apple since it retains its shape and rich, mellow flavor when baked or cooked. Its skin is so tender and thin that it doesn't require peeling for most recipes. Golden Delicious is very good in fresh salads and freezes well. Great as a snack or a lunchbox treat.

Granny Smith has crisp mouth-watering tartness. Bright green Granny Smith has a pink blush. Its tartness really comes through when baked and sautéed.

Gravenstein is a terrific sauce and pie apple. It is a roundish, irregularly shaped apple with a very short stem. The color varies, but is usually a greenish yellow background covered with broad red stripes. The Gravenstein is crisp, juicy, aromatic and full of old-fashioned tart-sweet flavor.

Jonagold is a blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, offering a unique tangy-sweet flavor with firm flesh. Jonagold is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking. Jonagolds make great fried apples. Simply sauté in a little butter and add a little cinnamon. No sugar needed!


Jonathan apples are generally small to medium in size and dark to bright red. Their flesh is yellowish-white, occasionally with red veins and they are crisp, tender, juicy, aromatic and moderately tart. Jonathan apples are another all-purpose apple for cooking, baking or fresh eating.

McIntosh is a very popular variety that is shiny red in color and has a juicy, sweet, and slightly tart flavor, and is used as a snack or in salads and desserts. The peak time of year for its availability is from early fall to late winter.

Mutsu, also called Crispin, is sweet, firm and crisp. It is good for sauce, pies and fresh eating. The mutsu is a Japanese apple and can be substituted in recipes with the Granny Smith variety if Mutsu are not available in your area.

Red Rome apples are referred to as the "baker's buddy," this apple was discovered as a chance seedling in the early 1800s on a farm near Rome Township, Ohio. Famed for its storage qualities, this mildly tart apple is primarily used for cooking and is especially good baked or sautéed. The Rome apple is typically available beginning in September.

Winesap is the apple with old-fashioned flavor. Winesap has a spicy almost wine-like flavor that makes it the cider maker's first choice. Violet red in color, it's great as a snack and in salads.



Bring in a LARGE VARIETY of apples. (During peek season there are many-many!) Have the children taste them and see which one they like the best.

With older kids you can chart and tally the results.
.......You can also do this with applesauce (Flavored vs. Unflavored and also taste test Cider vs. Apple juice.



Apples Snacks and Recipes great for kids!

Apple Theme of Art, Crafts, Games, Diversity, and more... 





Apples from left to right are~ Granny Smith, McIntosh, Fugi, Braeburn, Gala, and Golden Delicious...