"U p at the crack of dawn with my apple-picking basket in hand, I vividly remember running out to meet my grandfather under the old apple tree in his backyard. After filling my basket to the rim, I would proudly deliver my morning pickings to my grandmother who was always waiting by the door with her applesauce press in hand?"
Some of my most cherished childhood memories begin with a scenario similar to the one above. Aside from delicious applesauce, my grandparents were known countywide for their infamous homemade apple pies, dumplings, and cakes. What was their secret? According to my grandmother, the secret was simple-knowing how to pick the perfect apple.
Do you know which type of apple to choose? While there is little to no difference between apple varieties nutritionally, apple types can distinctively differ in terms of appearance, flavor, and texture. Consequently, it's important to know how to compare apples to apples before heading to your local farmer's market.
To this day, I find few things more satisfying than hearing that distinctive "crunch" that accompanies taking the first bite of a crisp, juicy apple. My enthusiasm for this historically "forbidden" fruit has not subdued, as apples are still one of my favorite fruits today. As a 20-something millennial, I now understand the truth behind the saying, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." As fresh food advocates, my grandparents' enthusiasm for growing fresh fruits and vegetables ultimately led me to find my passion for nutrition and career goal to become a Registered Dietitian.
While my fondness for apples may have stemmed from flavor, I now appreciate these fruits even more as I now know that they are just as nutritious as they are delicious! Apples are modest in calories and high in nutrients like fiber and vitamins. Based on research, these nutrients may help: lower bad cholesterol, maintain a healthy digestive tract, aid in managing a healthy weight, and support healthy energy processes.
Use the Locavores Guide To Apples chart below to pick the perfect apple for your lunch box vs. the most delectable apple for a southern apple pie!
A Locavores Guide To Apples
(within 150 mile radius of Nashville)
|Apple Variety:||Appearance:||Flavor:||Texture:||Best For:|
|Braeburn||Rich Red-Yellow-White Flesh||Sweet & Tangy||Super Crisp||Fresh Eating|
|Cameo||Red Blush Stripe Over Yellow - Creamy Flesh||Tart-Sweet||Firm & Crisp||Baking|
|Crispin||Yellowish-Green-White Flesh Sweet Very Refreshing||Sweet-Very Refreshing||Super Crisp & Juicy||Applesauce|
|Gala||Shiny Red-Creamy Yellow Flesh||Mildly Sweet||Crisp & Juicy||Applesauce|
|Honeycrisp||Red & Green Striated-Yellow Flesh||Sweet-Tart||Extra Crisp||Fresh Eating|
|Macintosh||Red With Green Patches- White Flesh||Sweet With Tart Tang||Crisp||Baking|
|Rome||Red-White Flesh||Mildly tart||Very Firm||Baking|
|Winesap||Rich Red-White Flesh||Tart||Crisp & Very Juicy||Apple Cider|