24 of the Popular Types of Apples

Apples are a sweet, nutritious fruit richly loaded with vitamins (A, B, C, E, K), minerals (iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous), and fibers. There are over 7,500 varieties and cultivars of apples in the world, with over 2,500 being grown in the US. They are mainly classified based on their color and taste. Some are highly sweet, others possess a considerable amount of tartness, while some can be a blend of both.

Basic Varieties of Apples with Examples

Though there can be different types based on their taste or their use, their primary classification is done based on their color, with the main categories and cultivars mentioned below:

1. RedExamples: Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Empire, Cortland, Paula Red, and Autumn Glory
2. Green  Examples: Granny Smith, Crispin, Shizuka, Rhode Island Greening
3. YellowExamples: Golden Delicious, Opal, Jonagold, Ginger Gold 

The Red Delicious, McIntosh, Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious are some of the most commonly available types around the world.

The green types are a little higher on fiber and lower on carbohydrates, while the red ones possess more antioxidants. Yellow apples are similar to the red ones in terms of their nutritional value.

List of Different Types of Apples

16 Red Apple Types

1. Red Delicious

Red Delicious Apple

It is one of the most popular varieties in the United States, as well as the whole world (commonly grown in and imported from Kashmir too). Developed in Iowa’s Old Peru community, it was initially sold by the name of Stark’s Delicious or Delicious and finally called Red Delicious in 1914. The name absolutely matches its bright red hue and soft, crunchy, juicy flavor. This one is best eaten raw, and the flesh does not retain its texture if cooked.

Color: Skin Bright red with a striped or spotted skin; Flesh – Creamy white

Shape: Conical or heart-shaped  

Taste: Mildly sweet and juicy

Uses: In salads, cider, and as a garnish in burgers and sandwiches,

2. Gala

Gala Apple

The Gala apple developed in New Zealand during the 1930s by crossing the Golden Delicious apple and Kidd’s Orange Red. It gradually became one of the most famed apples commercially and by 2018 its production in the United States was higher than the Red Delicious. Small to medium in size, with a grainy, crispy texture, it tastes the best when uncooked. In fact, they often get mushy when cooked and baked.

Color: Skin – Light red with pinkish-orange stripes and bright yellow undertones; Flesh white, cream or pale yellow

Shape: Conical

Taste: Mildly sweet

Uses: In salads, snacking, cider, and as a garnish

3. Fuji

Fuji Apple

It was developed in the 1930s in Japan, with the apple getting its name from a town named Fujaski, where it originated.  This variety is a cross between the Ralls Janet and Red Delicious apples. It gained commercial recognition during the 1960s, and by the 1980s, its popularity spread to America. The US Apple Association has ranked it as the 4th most favorite apple of America. They have a crispy texture with a fresh flavor, and retain their shape well when cooked, which makes them ideal for baking.

Color: Skin Deep red with flushes of pink against a yellowish-green background; Flesh – Dull white

Shape: Conical

Taste: Sweet and juicy

Uses: In salads, coleslaws, pies, sauces, and cider

4. Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp Apple

Sweet as honey as its name suggests, this big, crispy, juicy red apple variety developed in the University of Minnesota. The US Apple Association projects it to be the third most grown apple cultivar of the United States by the end of 2020.  Besides the sweetness, the apple also possesses a subtly tart flavor, being an excellent choice for both desserts and favorites. Their sweet taste does not diminish on being cooked, hence they could be used for preparing a host of dishes.

Color: Skin Mottled red with pale green or yellow undertones; Flesh – Creamy white

Shape: Conical

Taste: Sweet and juicy

Uses: In salads, coleslaws, as a garnish in sandwiches and burgers, pies, applesauce, and apple butter

5. Empire Apple

Empire Apple

Developed in 1945, at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station this apple is a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh. Medium-sized with a juicy, crunchy and firm in texture, it serves as a perfect lunch box apple since it does not gets easily bruised. It is also apt for baking and cooking.

Color: Skin Ruby red, with patches of green; Flesh – Bright white

Shape: Round  

Taste: Sweet and juicy

Uses: In salads, pies, and sauces

6. Cortland Apple

Cortland Apple

It developed in 1898 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, by crossing the Ben Davis alpple with the McIntosh. It is sweeter than McIntosh, though not as soft as it. The apple gets its name from New York’s Cortland county. The apple has a unique appearance since against its crimson red body lies patches of yellow with short red stripes and grayish-greed dots. Medium to large in size with a crunchy, crispy taste, it makes for a dessert apple. It even stands out as an excellent choice in cooking.

Color: Skin Crimson red; Flesh – Creamy white  

Shape: Flat

Taste: Sweet and tart

Uses: In salads, sauces, soups, juices, and cider

7. Paula Red

Paula Red Apple

The discovery of this bright red apple dates back to 1960 in Michigan’s Kent County by one Lewis Arends. This medium-sized apple got its name after Lewis’ wife Pauline and was commercialized in 1968. They become soft when cooked, unsuited for baking.

Color: Skin Bright red with spots of yellow and tan; Flesh White

Shape: Round

Taste: Sprightly neither sweet nor tart just as strawberries

Uses: In salads, and applesauce

8. Cripps Pink cv.

Cripps Pink cv Apple

The fast half of its name comes from the person behind its creation, John Cripps, while the second part is a result of its pink coloration. Developed in West Australia’s Department of Agriculture, this medium-sized apple is a cross of the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. It is one among the several cultivars to be sold under Pink Lady (a trademark name).  Because of its firm, crispy texture, it has a lot of culinary uses.

Color: Skin – Pinkishred body with yellowish-green stripes; Flesh – Yellowish-white

Shape: Round

Taste: Sweet and tart

Uses: In salads, sauces, pies, cider, baking, and freezing

9. Ambrosia

Ambrosia Apple

The Mennell family residing in British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley discovered this apple tree first that was growing in their orchard. Medium or large in size, the Ambrosia variety is crisp, aromatic, and less acidic, with its taste likened to that of pears. Since their shape is held well when cooked, it is a perfect baking apple.

Color: Skin – Glossy red with patches of yellow; Flesh – Creamy white

Shape: Round

Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads, pies, and sauces

10. Rome Apple

Rome Apple

Also known as Rome Beauty, Red Rome, or Gillett’s Seedling, it developed in Ohio’s Rome Township in the first half of the 19th century. Medium in size, it has a glossy appearance, with thick skin. When cooked its shape is well-maintained and the flavor gets sweeter. However, it is not suited to eat out of hand due to its subtle taste.

Color: Skin – Glossy red; Flesh White

Shape: Round

Taste: Subtle (neither sweet nor tart)

Uses: For baking, roasting, and frying

11. Braeburn

Braeburn Apple

This medium to large-sized apple gets its name from the Braeburn Orchard adjacent to Motueka, a town in New Zealand where it was commercially grown for the first time. Firm, crispy, and crunchy with a sweet-sour flavor it is used in baking and cooking, since it retains its shape well, not releasing too much liquid. If stored for a really long time it could turn brown within. Since they store well even at low temperatures, they are a highly preferred fruit to be grown, with their peak season in the northern hemisphere being from October to April.

Color: Skin – Reddish orange with a yellow or green undertone; Flesh Creamy, yellowish-white

Shape: Round

Taste: Sweet and tart (though the sourness is subtle)

Uses: In pies, tarts, cakes, and cider

12. Bailey

Bailey Apple

Also known as Bailey Sweet, Howard’s Sweet, or Edgerly Sweet, it was farmed for the first time in the 1840s in New York’s Wyoming County. The yellowish flesh has a crispy, juicy texture, and this medium-sized apple is better eaten fresh than cooked. They are mostly in season from October until January-February.

Color: Skin Red with white flecks; Flesh – Yellowish

Shape: Spherical or conical

Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads, snacking and as a garnish

13. McIntosh

McIntosh Apple

Also known as McIntosh Red or even Mac, it gains its name after John McIntosh, who had discovered the original sapling of the fruit in 1811. Being Canada’s national apple, its popularity eventually spread to North America as well as Europe. However, in the 21st century, there was a decline in its popularity since it received stiff competition from other varieties like Gala. Jef Raskin, an employee of Apple Inc., coined the term Macintosh for an individual line of computers after this apple. The soft, creamy flesh of this medium-sized fruit with a certain amount of tartness is prone to bruising. It is unsuited for baking since it gets a little mushy.

Origin: Ontario, Canada

Color: Skin Red and green (soft and thick, being peeled easily); Flesh – Pinkish white

Shape: Round with a short stem

Taste: Sweet and tart

Uses: In salads, applesauce, apple butter, and cider

14. Jonathan

Jonathan Apple

This sweet-tart apple with a tough exterior, smooth skin, and slightly acidic taste developed in New York in the 19th century. There are two theories regarding its origination. However, the most accepted one is that it emerged from a seedling of another apple variety, namely Esopus Spitzenburg in Philip Rick’s farm located in the town of Woodstock. It was initially referred to as Rick apple and later called Jonathan after the person who introduced it to the president of the Albany Horticultural Society Judge Buel. Because of its juicy and slightly tart flavor, it is ideal for baking and juicing.

Color: Skin – Red with green undertones; Flesh – White, pale cream or yellow

Shape: Oblong

Taste: Sweet and tart

Uses: In cider, juice, cakes, pies, tart

15. Cameo

Cameo Apple

This reddish-orange apple was a chance discovery at an orchard in Washington’s Dryden community. Though its parentage is unknown, it is speculated to be a Red and Golden Delicious cross since it was found adjacent to the orchards of these varieties. Crispy, juicy and creamy it is eaten fresh and also cooked.

Color: Skin – Orange with bright red stripes; Flesh – White, or yellow

Shape: Slightly elongated

Taste: Sweet and tart

Uses: In salads, as a garnish in sandwiches, and applesauce

16. Rockit Apples

Rockit Apple

This small-sized fruit is a new type of apple developed in 2010 in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay. To retain its freshness and make it portable, it often comes in a plastic tube. 

Color: Skin – Blush red; Flesh – White, or yellow

Shape: Round, conical

Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads and snacking

4 Green Apple Types

1. Granny Smith

Granny Smith Apple

It derives its name from its propagator, Maria Ann Smith, originating in Australia in 1868. Moderately large in size, with a hard, crispy texture, the fruit has a juicy flesh with an increased amount of tartness, making it a great accompaniment with savory dishes. It is also an apt choice for baking due to its firmness. The US Apple Association deems it as the United States’ 3rd most popular apple. It is one of the four apples that the United States Postal Services honored in the year 2013. The famous rock band Beatles used this apple’s image as Apple Corps Limited’s (their corporation) logo.

Color: Skin – Light green; Flesh – White

Shape:  Round

Taste:  Subtly sweet with tart and acidic flavor

Uses: In salads and pies

2. Crispin

Crispin Apple

Introduced in the year 1948, this medium-sized apple was developed by crossing the Indo and Golden Delicious apple, and attained its name after Japan’s Mutsu Province. Its sweet aromatic tastes make it a great dessert apple. This variety is favorable for cooking too since it retains its shape well. The flesh can be white or even green and the fruit remains fresh for about three months.

Color: Skin Green; Flesh – White or greenish-yellow

Shape: Round, oblong, conical

 Taste: Sweet and sharp

Uses: In salads, and juices

3. Shizuka

Shizuka Apple

They resemble the Mutsu or Crippin in many ways, though these apples possess a milder flavor. Large in size, it was also a Golden Delicious-Indo cross and remains fresh for about five months. They taste the best when eaten raw.

 

Color: Skin Light green to yellow; Flesh – Pale yellow

Shape: Round

 Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads

4. Rhode Island Greening

Rhode Island Greening Apple

It originated around 1650 in an area close to the Green’s End village of Rhode Island’s Middletown, being the state’s national fruit. Its popularity peaked in the 19th century. These big apples have a crispy, juicy, tart flavor just as the Granny Smith, being an excellent choice for cooking and baking.

Color: Skin Light green (turns greenish-yellow in its ripened form); Flesh Yellowish-green

Shape: Round

 Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads, pies, and sauces

4 Yellow Apple Types

1. Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious Apple

A big-sized yellow apple variety developed in a farm at West Virginia’s Clay County is a probable cross between the Golden Reinette and Grimes Golden. A Senate resolution passed on the 20th of February, 1995, made it West Virginia’s official fruit. Clay County has been hosting the Golden Delicious Festival annually since 1972. Since these apples can bruise and dry quickly, one should handle and store them with care. Because of its rich, mellow, and sweet flavor, these apples are great for baking and cooking.

Color: Skin Yellowish-green; Flesh White, cream or pale yellow

Shape: Conical, oblong 

 Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads, applesauce, apple butter, pies, and cider

2. Opal

Opal Apple

This is a new apple variety, derived by crossing the Topaz and the Golden Delicious. It was developed in Prague’s Institute of Experimental Botany in the year 1999, also known by the name UEB32642. Besides its place of origin, it also gained popularity in the United Kingdom, France, Austria, and the Netherlands.  Crisp and fresh, it is perfect to be eaten raw.

Color: Skin Bright yellow; Flesh White, pale yellow

Shape: Conical, oblong 

Taste: Sweet

Uses: In salads

3. Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold Apple

Another medium to large yellow apple kind developed in Virginia’s Nelson County and commercialized during the 1980s. It tastes the best when eaten out of hand, but can also be baked and cooked. It is green at the onset, attaining a soft yellow hue with a waxy appearance when ripened.  The Virginia General Assembly made a proposal in 2007 stating it as Virginia’s official fruit.

Color: Skin – Light yellow; Flesh Cream

Shape: Conical

Taste: Sweet and tart

Uses: In salads, pies, and sauces

4. Jonagold

Jonagold Apple

A result of crossing the Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples this variety developed in the NYSAES (New York State Agricultural Experiment Station) in 1953. Due to its large size, it is favored worldwide among commercial growers. Juicy and crispy with a sweet-sour taste, it is used in cooking and baking.

Color: Skin Yellowish-green with crimson undertones; Flesh – White, pale yellow

Shape: Conical, oblong 

Taste: Sweet and sour

Uses: In sauces, jams, and pies

FAQs

Q.1. What are the healthiest apple varieties?

Ans. Though no apple can ever be unhealthy for you as they are all rich in essential nutrients, there may be some types that are healthier than the others. The Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, and Jonagold are at the top of the nutritional chart, while the Empire, Golden Delicious, and Cortland apples are at the bottom.

Q.2. What are some of the sweetest apples?

Ans. The Fuji is regarded as the sweetest apple, while other varieties on the sweeter side include the Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious.

Q.3. What are some of the tartest apples?

Ans. The most readily available, and easily recognized crisp and tart apple is the Granny Smith, with its bright green skin and large size. Other tart apples include McIntosh, Jonathan, Braeburn, and Cortland. Tart apples are best-suited for baking.

Q.4. What are some of the newer apple varieties?

Ans. Cultivars are being introduced almost every year for crunchier, juicier, and sweeter apples, with Cosmic Crisp, Juici, Opal, and Piñata (or Sonata) being some of the newer variants.

Q.5. What apples are best for pies and baking?

Ans. Crisp apples with considerable tartness are ideal for pies and baking in general. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Ginger Gold, Esopus Spitzenberg, and Honeycrisp are some good varieties for pies.

Q. 6. What are some of the rarest apples?

Ans. Esopus Spitzenberg, Arkansas Black, Grimes Golden, and Rubinette are some of the rarely available, often expensive apples in today’s world.

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