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How about these apples? The A-B-C’s of apples

The apple is one of the most popular fruits worldwide, second only to the banana. The health benefits of this fruit are tremendous; maybe that’s where the popular saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” comes from.  Apples contain antioxidants, vitamins, dietary fiber, and various other nutrients. Due to their varied nutrient content, apples can be a healthful part of a balanced diet. They can help fight disease and boost heart health.  Eating apples can also aid in brightening teeth. The crunchy inside helps scrub your teeth.

There are many interesting facts about apples! 

  • Did you know that 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air?  That’s why they float when bobbing for apples.
  • It takes about 36 apples to make a gallon of apple cider. It takes two pounds of apples to make one nine-inch pie. 
  • Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. The vigor and health of the plant determine the number of seeds per carpel. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds. On average, apples have 5-10 seeds. 
  • Archaeologists have found evidence that humans have enjoyed apples for over 8,500 years!
  • Most apples are still picked by hand, which is amazing because 240 million bushels, on average, are harvested each year.

Thousands of different types of apples are grown in the U.S. and worldwide. However, only 100 varieties are produced for commercial purposes.  Apples are grown in all 50 states and grown commercially in 36 states. Here are some popular varieties that we carry at Food Town and how they are best eaten:

  • Red delicious: a crisp, juicy red apple – snacking
  • Gala: Sweet, mild, crisp textured – snacking & baking
  • McIntosh: a juicy, tangy red apple with tender, white flesh – snacking & cider
  • Fuji: a yellow and red apple with firm, sweet flesh – baking & cooking
  • Granny Smith: a green apple with crisp, greenish flesh and a sharp flavor – baking
  • Golden Delicious: a yellow apple with a mild, sweet flavor – cooking, snacking & salads
  • Honeycrisp Apples: crisp, sweet, juicy – baking & snacking
  • Pink Lady: Mildly sweet, tart, and delicate – cooking & snacking
  • Ginger Gold Apples: crisp, juicy, initially tart when harvested – sweeter, spice-filled nuances – snacking & salads

With so many apple varieties, knowing which ones to choose for baking, cooking, and snacking can be hard.  To make the best pies and other baked treats, apples must be firm enough to hold together during cooking. Many cooks choose a variety like Granny Smith for baking.  Here is a delicious dessert recipe for Apple Vanilla Wafer Crisp: https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/apple-vanilla-wafer-crisp/

For snacking, you want a nice crisp, sweet apple, such as Red Delicious or Gala.  These are just a few examples, and most people have a favorite apple for baking or snacking.

Some great ways to prepare apples are applesauce, chopped in salads, baked in pies, pastries, cakes, chutneys, juices, and smoothies. Try making this wonderful salad with apples:  https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/spinach-salad-with-apples-bacon-and-avocado/

Apples should be kept in the refrigerator to extend their life. (At room temperature, apples ripen 10 times faster than when refrigerated). To prevent and slow down oxidation (turning brown), when slicing, dip apple slices in one part citrus, such as lemon juice, to three parts water. Apples can also help ripen other fruits. You can place unripe avocados, tomatoes, and more in a bag with one apple to ripen them faster.

The good news is that apples are available year-round.  Whether you’re baking a pie or packing a lunch, Food Town has many varieties of apples at great prices.  Visit our colorful produce department and pick some today!  https://www.yourfoodtown.com/locations

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