Apples: What Are Your Favorites?

by Anne Maxfield on September 26, 2016

accidental-locavore-farmers-market-apples-and-pearsWhat’s your favorite apple?

Do you like them sweet and Delicious (pun intended)?
A classic McIntosh?
Or do you just want to have a good time with a Gala?

It’s time to put down that pumpkin latte and reach for an apple.
An apple is one of those very rare, sweet treats that is almost calorie-negative. That means you burn almost as many calories eating it as you take in.

Good stuff, right?
A large apple has only 116 calories, and, not to depress you, but that pumpkin latte? 420 (160 from fat).

accidental-locavore-farmers-market-applesIf, in most years, you think there are a lot of apples here in the Hudson Valley, you’d be right. While this year a lot of areas got hammered by that April frost, normally this is one of the largest apple growing areas in the state and only Washington state beats New York for apple production.

Whether your idea of picking apples is to go point at a box and say “I’ll take that one,” or hike out to an orchard, what you really want to know as is what to pick from a pile of pommes.
Since all apples are not created equal, the Accidental Locavore is going to break down some of your favorites into a few categories to make it easier for you.

For more details and photos of the varieties check out the NY State Apple Country site.

Sweet:
Ginger Gold
Cortland
Red Delicious
Gala
Macoun
Jonagold
Fuji

Sweet/Tart:
Jonamac
Honeycrisp
McIntosh
Empire
Northern Spy

Tart:
Rome
Granny Smith

Good for baking:
Honeycrisp
Cortland
Empire
Golden Delicious
Northern Spy
Granny Smith

Accidental Locavore Red Hook ApplesDo a Google search for “pick your own apples Hudson Valley” and you’ll come up with lots of suggestions all over the Valley. Call or check on the individual websites before you go to make sure they’ve got apples (and what types).

If your preference is for pies, why not sample a few at the Apple Pie Café at the Culinary Institute? Remember that (sadly) they’re only open Monday through Friday.
Wrights Farm in Gardiner has lots of pies to choose from, apple cider doughnuts and a “Help, I Picked Too Many Apples!” page on their website if you’ve overindulged.
For some adult entertainment, why not sample some of the local distilleries?
Hudson Valley Distillers, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery and Harvest Spirits all are working with local apples to make new versions of old favorites like vodka and applejack.
Find a designated driver and go to a tasting at any of their facilities. They’ve got some great cocktails that let you take advantage of apples in a whole new light.

Let us know in the comments how many different apple varieties you’ve tried and what your favorites are.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Maxfield September 27, 2016 at 9:51 am

Anything off a tree is always good, but I think my favorite is a classic McIntosh.

Anne Maxfield September 27, 2016 at 9:50 am

Totally in agreement about firm! It’s why I hate Delicious apples–too sweet and mushy.

Mikaela Fleisher September 26, 2016 at 12:04 pm

I love all apples, but my favorite for snacking is probably the Honeycrisp as well! There’s an orchard right up the street that has every variety of apple. It’s great!

Lisette September 26, 2016 at 11:48 am

My apples must all be firm almost hard, softies categorically fail to satisfy my addiction.
Fujis sweeten my daily diet. The expensive but exquisite Honeycrisp apples are my not-so-secret pleasure! Quel plaisir !

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