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It's Apple Harvest Time in the Mid-Atlantic!


Apple Pie is an American favorite.The apple harvest in the Mid-Atlantic states lasts from August to December and peaks in October. Many varieties of apples are grown. If you come to the area, you may want to visit one of the many orchards in the mountains. Several hold festivals at various times during the harvest season and most offer pick-your-own opportunities as well as fresh apple products like cider and apple butter.

The varieties of apples you should buy depend on what you plan to do with them. Some are more versatile in their uses than others. All varieties can be eaten out of hand fresh of course, depending on the flavor and texture you prefer. Most varieties are recommended for baking with the exceptions of Gala and Red Delicious. Most people prefer apples with a more tart taste such as Granny Smith, Rome or York for pies and other desserts requiring the addition of sugar.

The following are just a few of the many varieties grown in the Mid-Atlantic region. Varieties will vary from area to area. Please call the orchard you'll be visiting before you go to inquire about the particular varieties available at that time. Not all apple varieties ripen at the same time. Some ripen early in the season and others later.

empire

Empire

A very crisp textured apple with a taste that is more sweet than tart. It is a cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh. It is an excellent variety for desserts, salads or snacks. Empire apples have a longer shelf life than other varieties. They are usually available in September.

fuji

Fuji

Fuji apples are especially sweet with a crisp texture. They are a good all purpose apple. First discovered in Japan, they are a newer variety that have become popular for desserts and eating fresh. They last well when stored and are available in October.

gala

Gala

Sweet flavor and a light texture make Gala apples a great choice for eating fresh or in salads. They are more heart shaped and smaller in size than other varieties. They are perfect for kids as a snack. Gala apples are an earlier variety that ripen in August.

golden delicious

Golden Delicious

An old favorite, Golden Delicious apples have a mellow sweet flavor. They are another great all purpose apple known for keeping its shape when baked. The flesh will stay white when the apples are cut open longer than other varieties making these apples a great choice for salads. Golden Delicious apples are usually ready for picking in September.

granny smith

Granny Smith

The perfect cooking apple, Granny Smiths have a tart yet slightly sweet taste and firm crisp texture. Wonderful for baking into pies or eating fresh in salads, Granny Smith harvest peaks in October.

idared

Idared

Juicy and slightly tart, these apples are perfect for pies and fried apples. They hold their shape very well during cooking. Idared apples are ready for harvest in September.

jonagold

Jonagold

Jonagold apples are a cross between the tart flavored Jonathan variety and the sweet flavored Golden Delicious apples. This apple is prized for its flavor. It does well when used fresh, baked or in salads. The Jonagold variety is harvested in September.

mutsu crispin

Mustu/Crispin

Mutsu or Crispin apples are prized for their sweet, slightly tart flavor and very firm but juicy texture. They are great for baking, in salads or fresh. They are available in October.

red delicicious

Red Delicious

Red Delicious apples are probably the all-time favorite for eating fresh out of hand. They are also popular in fruit salads. They are sweet, tender and juicy with a fine grained flesh. The world's most often planted apple, they are ready to eat in September.

rome

Rome

An excellent baking apple, Rome is a firm and slightly tart variety. It is very smooth with slightly juicy flesh. Its flavor shines through when cooked, but they are also popular for eating fresh. They hold up very well in storage too. Rome apples are available in October.

stayman

Stayman/Winesap

A firm and juicy apple, Stayman or Winesap apples have a sweet and slightly tart wine-like flavor. Another all purpose variety, they are most often pressed for cider or used in cooking. They hold up well when stored and are ready for harvest in October.

york

York

York apples are a wonderful all-purpose cooking apple. Use them in applesauce, when baking, for fried apples, in pies or eat them fresh out of hand. They have a crisp, firm texture and tart flavor. York apples are ready for picking in October.

Apple variety images in this article provided by the free image bank of the U.S. Apple® Association.

 


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