9 Types of Apples Everyone Should Know

Because life’s too short to settle for Red Delicious.

Fun fact: There are more than 750 varieties of apples in the world, and more than 100 types of apples exist in the United States alone. And come fall, we're here for every single one of them.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as the first bite into a sweet, juicy, freshly picked apple. But here's the thing: Not all apple types are meant to be eaten out-of-hand. Some are best for baking into pies and tarts; others pair perfectly with savory dishes like pork chops or sausage. And while apple cider cocktails don't actually always contain whole apples, there is a certain kind of apple that makes the best cider.

Here, we've covered the most popular types of apples in America—plus how they taste, look, and where to find them. Take a look at our apple variety chart, and read on for more info on your favorite kinds. Happy crunching!

Types of apples - different kinds of apples pictures, names, chart
Yeji Kim
01 of 09

Fuji

Types of apples - Fuji apple picture
Yeji Kim

Aptly named after Mount Fuji, this perfect-for-snacking variety was originally developed during the 1930s in Japan and didn't make its way to the United States until the 1980s. Fujis are distinguished by their crisp texture, sweet flavor, and striped red-and-yellow skin. They're made by crossing Red Delicious with Ralls Janet apples.

02 of 09

Red Delicious

Types of apples - Red Delicious apple variety image
Yeji Kim

Red Delicious apples originated in Iowa during the 1870s. If you look up "apple" in the dictionary, you'll likely find a picture of a Red Delicious, as they're the most popular variety in the U.S. Their iconic red skin, wide top, and footed bottoms are best for chopping up and mixing into dishes raw, like salad.

03 of 09

Honeycrisp

Types of apples - Honeycrisp apple variety image
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If apples were in high school, Honeycrisps would be on the varsity football team or would win prom queen (or both). This super popular variety is prized for its extra sweet and juicy flavor, explosive crispness, and reddish-yellow color. Honeycrisps are perfect for eating as is, tossing into salads, or making into sauces.

RELATED: 7 Simple Steps for Baking the Perfect Pie Every Time

04 of 09

Granny Smith

Types of apples - Granny Smith apple picture
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Almost as popular as Red Delicious, this is the go-to bright green apple of the bunch. Granny Smiths originated in Australia and have a super tart taste and crisp, firm texture. Some relish the sour taste, while others might prefer to bake it into a sweet(er) dessert, or cook them down into a savory dish.

05 of 09

Golden Delicious

Types of apples - Golden Delicious apple picture
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This type gets its name from its bright, yellow-green skin and mild, buttery flavor. Golden Delicious apples are softer on the inside and thin-skinned, so they're prone to bruising or shrivelling in storage. Eat them quickly instead. They're best for baking into pies, making sauces, and work fairly well for freezing.

06 of 09

McIntosh

Types of apples - McIntosh apple picture
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Even softer than Golden Delicious, McIntosh apples are creamy (and a bit mealy) on the inside, which makes them a great option for being cooked down into applesauce or soup. They have a juicy, tart-and-tangy flavor, deep red skin, and bright white interior. Because McIntosh apples lack firmness, you'll need additional thickener if you choose to bake with them.

RELATED: The 6 Best Practices for Baking With Fruit, According to a Cookbook Author

07 of 09

Cortland

Types of apples - Cortland apple picture
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Cortland apples are similar to McIntosh in shape (round and squat) and taste (creamy and tart). But because they're not quite as soft as McIntoshes, you can bake or cook with them, or eat them raw. Cortlands are known for browning a bit slower than other types, so they're a smart option if you'll be slicing and serving them as a snack or in a salad.

08 of 09

Empire

Types of apples - Empire apple picture
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These popped up in the "Empire State" of New York in 1966 after the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station crossed a Red Delicious apple with a McIntosh. They're juicy, firm, and deliciously sweet. Eat Empires as a snack or for cooking or baking.

09 of 09

Gala

Types of apples - Gala apple picture
Yeji Kim

Galas have a unique tall but small shape. They're also lighter in color than most—the red on the outside gets shown up by the bright yellow-orange undertones. Their mild, sweet, crisp flavor makes them ideal for snacking (especially for kids) or cooking.

RELATED: Best Apple Recipes

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