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What’s the difference between a Honeycrisp and a Gravenstein apple?

applesA few weeks ago, we posted a summary of all our new crop of pears – their different flavor profiles, pairing suggestions, and general history. Well, this week we’re working through our new crop of apples! Below, we pulled together some tips on our favorite ones, to help you explore each of these fruits when they’re at peak season. For more info, check out Specialty Produce, which helped us prepare these summaries.


Cameo apples are covered in red stripes that develop just prior to the apple being ready for harvest. The Cameo’s flavor is the perfect balance of sweet and tart with nuances of both honey and citrus. A recent study of the newest apple varieties conducted at the University of Bonn revealed that Cameo apples contained the highest amount of antioxidants of all thirty-one apples studied. Cameo apples can be used in both sweet and savory applications. Add chopped Cameo to quiche, polenta and cobblers. Their dense flesh holds up extremely well when cooked. Try topping a pizza with sliced Cameo, use as a chunky filling for pastries or hollow out and stuff to make baked apples. Cameo apples pair well with squash, bacon, pears and flavorful cheeses such goat, cheddar and ricotta.


A bi-colored variety, the thin yellow skin of the Braeburn apple is covered with a red to orange blush and highlighted with red stripes. The Braeburn apple’s flavor is the perfect balance of sweet and just slightly tart with subtle hints of pear and cinnamon. The sweet-tart flavor of the Braeburn apple mellows just slightly when cooked and will compliment both sweet and savory preparations. Roast along with root vegetables or sauté and serve atop pork. They can be slow cooked and pureed to make sauces, jams and preserves. Bake into pies, crisps, cakes and galettes or hollow and stuff to make baked apples. Chopped Braeburn apple will add sweetness and texture to breads, pancakes and muffins. Braeburn apples are slow to brown when cut making them perfect for use in raw preparations. When raw their flavor and crisp texture is best when served slightly chilled. Slice and add to salads and sandwiches or serve on a cheese board.


McIntosh apples are vivid red brushed with bright green, oftentimes speckled with white lenticels (spots). McIntosh apples can be used cooked or raw and in both sweet and savory preparations. Add slices atop a pizza or tart, use chopped as a stuffing or puree and add to a soup. The flesh of the McIntosh apple is delicate and will breakdown when cooked. Pair with dense apples such as Granny Smith, Rome, Green Dragon or Fuji to make pie filling or slow cook to make sauces and chutney. Diced McIntosh will add sweetness and moisture to cakes, breads and cookies. Their slightly spicy flavor and juiciness makes them a perfect apple for use in juice and cider. Its flavor pairs well with maple, pecans, celery, pork, blackberries, cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg and flavorful cheeses such as feta, gorgonzola and sharp cheddar.


Jazz apples are round with a rosy red skin oftentimes splashed with undertones of yellow, orange and green. Jazz apples hold up well when baked, maintaining both their sweet flavor and crisp texture. Bake into muffins, cakes and bread, or hollow and stuff to make baked apples. An excellent desert apple, Jazz apple can be added to pies, galettes and tarts. Their sweet tart flavor will complement savory preparations as well. Roast thick cut Jazz apple slices along with vegetables or add slices to the cavity of a chicken prior to roasting to add sweetness and moisture. The crisp texture of the Jazz is perfect when used in fresh applications. Add slices to burgers, dice and use in a chopped salad or serve sliced for dipping. The flavor of the Jazz pairs well with caramel, cinnamon, fennel, pork, pear, ginger and cheeses such as goat, cheddar and gouda.


The skin of the Jonagold apple has an under blush which varies in color from greenish yellow to rosy orange depending on the strain and the temperature the apples are grown in. A popular dessert apple the Jonagold can be used in a variety of sweet preparations. Bake into pies, tarts, muffins and cakes. Hollow and stuff or cook whole and baste to make baked apples. Jonagold apples are perfect for use in sauces, preserves and jam. Their sweet-tart flavor will complement savory applications as well. Use in chopped and green salad, serve sautéed slices alongside pork or root vegetables or pair with robust cheeses on a sandwich, pizza or cheese board.


Granny Smith apples have a bright green skin that is often speckled with faint white lenticels (spots). Granny Smith apples are often used in baking because of their high acidity and ability to hold their shape when cooked. Try baked into sweet or savory pies, tarts, or meat pastries; add to savory bread stuffing, risotto or potato pancakes. Their sweet-tart flavor is a great addition to soups, smoothies and sauces. Because they are slow to brown when cut, they are perfect diced and added to fresh preparations such as salads and salsas or sliced and paired with cheese.


Gala apples are covered in a thin yellow to orange skin, highlighted with pink to red stripes that vary in hue dependent upon the apples maturity. The delicate flavor and texture of the Gala apple shines in fresh preparations. They are perfect for use in fruit, green and chopped salads. Add diced gala to fruit salsas and chutneys. Slice and add to burgers, paninis and crostinis. Their sweet flavor becomes milder when cooked making them perfect in baked preparations when paired with stronger flavored apples such a Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, Pippin and Mutsu. The flavor of pears, winter squash, onions, pecans, turkey, curry, brie, cheddar and Swiss cheese complement Gala apples.


The thick skin and dense flesh of the Fuji apple holds up extremely well when cooked. Fuji apples can be roasted, baked, sautéed and boiled down into sauce. Add slices atop pizza or layer inside a quiche, or chop and slow cook chunks of Fuji apple to make jams, soups, and compotes. Their sweet flavor holds up when cooked as well; try added to baked desserts such as strudels and crisps. This sweet apple pairs well with sharp cheeses, such as sharp cheddar. Fujis store very well under proper cold, dry conditions.


Gravenstein apples have green to yellow undertones and are covered in dense red and orange striping. Its crisp flesh is creamy white and rich with juice. Highly aromatic the Gravenstein apple offers a classic sweet-tart apple flavor with nuances of honey. Gravenstein apples are renowned for their exceptional sweet tart flavor that shines in both cooked and raw preparations. Pair with chicken, pork, onion, mushrooms and robust cheeses in savory preparations or pear, vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate in sweet preparations. When cooked the flavor of the Gravenstein apple is enhanced and the flesh will hold its shape. They can be baked, sautéed, roasted or slow cooked and pureed. A popular dessert apple Gravenstein makes an excellent addition to pies, tarts, cakes and cookies.


Honeycrisp apples have a yellow background covered with a red to pink blush and speckled with small lenticels. Honeycrisp apples maintain their sweet flavor even when cooked. Try baked into a crisp or pie. Remove the skin and slow cook slices to make applesauce, preserves and apple butter. Their crisp texture shines in raw preparations, dice and add to coleslaw and chopped salads or slice thin and add to sandwiches and burgers.