Boasting over 7,500 varieties, apples are ideal for eating fresh, baking in pies or pressing into juice. Sweet, juicy, tart and crisp are some of the many characteristics of apples, but each apple variety has its own unique flavour and features. With such a large selection of apples available in supermarkets today, it can be difficult to tell which apples are sweet. Knowing the names of a few sweet apple varieties can help.
Golden Delicious apples are large, firm and green or golden in colour. Crisp with a mildly sweet flavour, these apples get sweeter as they ripen on the tree longer. Available year-round, they are ideal for eating raw, baking or making applesauce.
Pink Lady apples originated in Australia and are a cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams apples. They are yellow with a pink hue and have a tangy yet sweet flavour. These apples are grown in hot climates and require extensive sunlight to develop their pink colour. They taste great raw and are ideal for pies and salads.
Red Delicious apples are one of the most largely grown varieties in the United States. These tall, deep red apples are crunchy and mildly sweet. They are best when eaten raw but aren't good for baking.
Fuji apples originated in Japan in the 1940s and are a blend of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet apples. Requiring plenty of sunshine to ripen, they are primarily grown in Japan, China and the United States. Fuji apples are large, reddish-pink, crisp and very sweet. They are refreshing to eat raw and are great for baking because they hold their shape.
Gala apples originated in New Zealand and are a cross between the Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious apples. Available year-round, these sweet apples have an attractive yellow hue with orange-red blush. Eat these apples raw or make a scrumptious pie.
Ambrosia apples are a newer variety that originated in western Canada. These honey-sweet apples have an orange-red hue over a yellow background. Thought to be a cross between the Golden Delicious and Jonagold varieties, Ambrosia apples have a soft crunch and are best eaten when chilled.
Spartan apples are small, sweet and juicy, with bright red skin and white flesh. An offspring of the McIntosh apple, the Spartan variety was developed scientifically in British Columbia in the 1920s. Spartan apples are easy to grow in your backyard and are ideal for children because of their small size.