There are over 7,500 varieties of apples grown all over the world. In the United States, there are 8 different varieties that are the most popular and make up about 80% of the production. They are:

Golden Delicious: an all-purpose apple great for eating raw, baking, or making applesauce. Its flecked, golden yellow skin is distinctive and when it is sliced it doesn’t darken as readily as other apples.

Granny Smith: a pale green apple which provides a crisp texture and tart flavor. It also is a multipurpose apple.

Jonathan: this small to medium-sized apple is deep red with yellow undertones. It is juicy with a firm yellow flesh. Use it for eating, baking pies, making applesauce, but it does not hold its shape when baked whole.

Mcintosh: a green-red apple that is very juicy with a slight tart flavor. It is excellent eaten raw and can be cooked but provides an exceptionally smooth texture. McIntosh’s bruised more easily than other apples and should be handled with care.

Red Delicious: this familiar red apple is the most popular variety in the U.S. It has a thin but tough skin and a crisp, juicy, sweet-tasting flesh. These apples are best eaten raw.

Rome Beauty: is a favorite for baking. It holds its spherical shape well in cooking, which also brings out its flavor. Eaten raw, it tastes rather bland and mealy.

Staymen: is an all-purpose apple, with a purplish red skin and white flesh that is mildly tart and juicy.

York: this variety has a lopsided shape with a pinkish-red skin, often dotted with pale spots. The flesh is yellow and moderately juicy. York’s are good baking apples, holding their shape and flavor.

Some tips for selecting and storing apples are to select apples that are firm and free from bruises. They should be handled gently to prevent bruising. Large apples are more likely to be overripe than smaller ones, so pay attention to firmness when buying them. Refrigerate apples and they will stay crisp longer. They should be stored in a ventilated plastic bag away from strong-odored foods. If they were in good condition when you bought them, they should keep for up to six weeks in the refrigerator. Check them often and remove any decayed apples, since one rotten apple can indeed spoil the rest. After slicing apples, coat the slices with apple or lemon juice to prevent burning.