Which apple, which recipe? Our primer explains all
No fruit says fall like apples. Baked into pies, pureed into sauces, sauteed with meats and stews both savory and sweet, it is one of our most comforting and versatile fruits. But which apple to use for what?
Not a simple question. During the last decade, the number of apple varieties has exploded, with heirlooms and “club” varieties – apples essentially licensed to only a specific group of growers and marketers – tumbling into the bins at farm stands and supermarkets. And apple taste, texture, acidity, sweetness and response to being cooked can vary dramatically from one variety to another.
Just because you like to bite into a big juicy Fuji doesn’t mean it’s the best apple for your mom’s famous pie. And though McIntosh make great applesauce, you might not want to use them in a salad. With Americans consuming roughly 2.4 million tons of apples a year – or about 15 pounds per person, according to Agriculture Department figures – a primer on which apples to use when and how seemed just right for the season.
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