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Best Variety of Apples to Eat or Cook
Happy first day of Fall! Fall season means fresh, crisp apples, a great fruit choice if you are following a low-potassium diet. Apples can be eaten out of hand or cooked and used in both sweet and savory recipes. Pork chops with applesauce and apple pie come to mind immediately. The ten most popular apple varieties in the US, according to the US Apple Association are Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Pink lady, Braeburn and Jazz.
So how do you choose which apples to eat and which one to cook? According to Brian Smith of Solebury Orchards in Pennsylvania “For cooking and baking and for eating there are three major characteristics that come into play: acidity, flavor, and texture. One of the most important is the amount of acidity in a particular apple variety. Acids combine with sugars to create a very appealing flavor and taste sensation in the finished product. The texture of the apple flesh after it is cooked or baked also is a factor in the quality of the product. Some varieties will hold their shape and still maintain a certain level of firmness and texture even after being cooked to an acceptable softness. Other varieties will tend to break apart more quickly.”
According to Shirley O. Corriher, author of Bakewise, when fruits are heated their cell walls break down and turn mushy. If you are making applesauce this is fine. However, if you want the apples to maintain their shape, she suggests adding sugar to the apple to keep their shape intact while cooking. The bottom line is that many apple varieties can be good for both cooking and eating.
If you take the time to visit a local apple orchard you may find many more varieties of apples with different flavor profiles. Some additional apple varieties include, Jonagold, Empire, Sansa, Topaz, Keepsake, Cameo, Ginger gold, Macoun and Rome. Visit your local farmers market or apple orchard to find out what is available in your area. The best way to find what you like is to try something new. Brian from Solebury Orchards sums it up perfectly. “I think the qualities that make an apple good to eat are very individual so I would say few varieties would be exclusively for cooking. Many of the best cooking apples are also the favorite to eat.”
For recipes with cooked apples try one of these 13 Awesome Apple Recipes for a Kidney Diet.
Take a look at these DaVita Eats recipe videos for Quick and Easy Apple Oatmeal Custard and Apple and Cranberry Slaw with Celery Seed Dressing.
- Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher, 2008, 1st edition, Scribner.