Comparing Apples to Apples

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Remarkably, there are hundreds of different apple varieties grown in the U.S., and new ones are being developed all the time. We’ve compiled a list of common apple varieties, best apple recipes for each type, and an apple sweetness scale to help you narrow your choices. As the major crops come in, Sprouts may carry 15–20 different types of apples both conventional and organic. But in many cases their seasons are short, so you have to act fast. Apple sweetness, texture and uses can vary depending on the type of apple. As the major crops come in, Sprouts may carry 15–20 different types of apples both conventional and organic. But in many cases their seasons are short, so you have to act fast.

Apple Facts

  1. About 2/3 of the dietary fiber in apples is in the skin.
  2. Apples can pick up the flavors of other foods around them, so store them away from cabbage and onions.
  3. One 9-inch apple pie generally requires about two pounds of apples (six medium-sized apples).
  4. One bad apple can indeed spoil the whole barrel: don’t keep bruised or rotting apples nearby other apples.
Sweetest Apples Chart

Types of Apples:


A bi-colored beauty with a honey flavor sure to please. Characteristics: Creamy yellow flesh with low acidity and a sweet flavor. Good for: Roasting with root vegetables, adding to polenta, couscous or rice

Autumn Glory

Autumn Glories are a cross between the Fuji and Golden Delicious. Its flavor is mostly sweet and has hints of cider. Characteristics: mostly sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon and caramel. Good for: Charcuterie board with strong cheeses


A yellowish-red apple, widely available starting mid-September. Characteristics: Firm and sweet, aromatic and a bit tart, juicy. Good For: Eating fresh.


A specially cultivated, later ripening apple with a red blush over yellow. Characteristics: Deep flavor, moderate sweetness, combination of sweet and tart, crunchy. Good For: Eating fresh or adding to salads.


Lovely New York-grown apple with a blend of greens and reds. Characteristics: Tender and a little tart, with a floral and somewhat spicy flavor. Good For: Eating fresh, pies, baking, applesauce, salads.


Presumably named for the Empire State, since most of them are grown there. Characteristics: Medium-large, rather firm; a nice cross between a Red Delicious and a McIntosh. Good For: Excellent eating apple, applesauce.


Originally from New Zealand, these apples are now available all year round! Characteristics: Refreshingly  sweet, crisp taste. Good for: Sweet enough for no-sugar apple sauce, on top of a sandwich or in salads


Originally cultivated in Japan and brought to the U.S. in the 1980s. Characteristics: Firm, extremely sweet, juicy, very crisp; some say “earthy”; stores well. Good For: Eating fresh, salads, pies; one of the best for making applesauce.


A thin-skinned relative of the Golden Delicious, but light red in color. Characteristics: Crisp and sweet, very watery; will go bad if not refrigerated. Good For: A great all-purpose apple.

Golden Delicious:

A firm yellow apple that often has bumps on the skin. Characteristics: Mellow in flavor and a treasure of sweetness; must be refrigerated. Good For: Juice, pies, baking, applesauce—but mix with other apples to get better flavor.

Granny Smith:

Good crops of this classic green apple come in from both California and Washington. Characteristics: Delightfully tangy, even lemony, but with a bit of a sweet finish. Good For: Baking, salads.


One of the smash hits of the past couple of years, originally developed in Minnesota. Characteristics: A nearly perfect balance of sweet, tart and juicy, with an aftertaste that actually does have honey-like qualities. Good For: Eating fresh, baking.


A New Zealand apple that is a cross between a Gala and a Braeburn—available primarily in our California and Texas stores. Characteristics: Tangy, sweet and crunchy, with dense flesh. Good For: Eating fresh, baking.


This perfect cross between Braeburn and Honeycrisp will not disappoint with a dense, sweet-tasting crunch. Characteristics: Extremely juicy and sweet with a pleasant tart finish. Good for: Salads, cheese boards


A cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious. Characteristics: Honey sweet, juicy; tendency to soften during cold storage. Good For: Eating fresh, making applesauce, pies and salads.


An early fall apple, with light red stripes and yellow hues. Characteristics: Sweet-tart and firm. Good For: Pies, baking.


Pronounced “ma-cow-an” and boasts a creamy white flesh. Characteristics: Extra sweet with hints of berry Good for: This apple is considered to be one of the best all-purpose cooking apples


The classic apple shape and flavor. Characteristics: Juicy soft flesh that is bursting with flavor. Good For: Eating fresh, applesauce; a bit too mushy for pies.


Opal apples don’t brown! They have a distinct crunch and are available from October until June. Characteristics: Sweet, tangy flavor. Good for: Salads, baking, you name it!

Pacific Rose:

Available primarily in our California stores. Characteristics: Large, very crunchy, thin-skinned, firm-fleshed and mostly sweet. Good For: Eating fresh.

Pink Lady:

A fairly new variety, developed in Australia from Golden Delicious and Lady Williams apples; now grown extensively in the U.S. Characteristics: Crisp and tart, with a lovely pink blush color. Good For: Eating fresh, cooking.

Red Delicious:

Gorgeous color, mostly grown in Iowa. Characteristics: Flavor can be a bit bland; very juicy/watery. Good For: Making the perfect caramel apples.


Mixed from Gala, Braeburn, Falstaff and Fiesta varieties. Characteristics: Crunchy exterior with familiar flavor. Good for: Cheese, peanut butter, cooked with pork or chicken


A perfect snacking apple, similar to Honeycrisp. Characteristics: Juicy, crunchy and extra sweet. Good for: Good for eating on its own, in salads and kids lunches


Native to Minnesota, Sugarbees are crispy and crunchy. Characteristics: Sweet flavor and a juicy flesh. Good for: Dehydrating, baking

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