This past Friday, I was greeted at the entrance of Wegmans by little plastic name cards, each designating one mountain of apples from its neighbors. There were over twelve different varieties of apples available in one store!
After wandering from stack to stack for a good fifteen minutes, I realized that I was lost. When you have so many different options, how do you know which type to choose? Well, for those of you who, like me, may not know what to do when you wander into the grocery store, here are a few different strategies to determine which apples to choose.
Did you know that apples are used differently based on their taste and hardness? For example, softer apples like McIntosh and Golden Delicious are considered best for sauces because the sugars break down more quickly. In contrast, hard, dry apples like Granny Smith and Empire are considered best for baking because they retain their shape and taste. And tart, crisp apples like Fuji and Honeycrisp are considered best raw because they are flavorful and juicy.
Interestingly, the color of an apple is unrelated to its taste and hardness. Red or yellow, you can’t tell how delicious an apple will be until you take a bite! Similarly, although these strategies may help when you are trying to follow a specific recipe, the truth is that choosing the perfect apple really comes down to personal taste.
So next time you head out to buy apples, experiment. Try something new, and who knows, you may end up with a new favorite variety!