Tuesday, July 05, 2011

An apple rainbow

kw: fruits

I awoke this morning out of a dream in which I was a contestant in a quiz show. The question had been to name three varieties of apple and state the color of each. I was thinking over my answer when I woke up. I got to thinking, as I went about my morning routine, what is the best answer?

I concluded that the best answer is, Red Delicious = Red, Golden Delicious = Yellow, Granny Smith = Green. But along the way I was cataloging other varieties. The list below is just a memory exercise:
  • Red Delicious – the classic Red apple, though the color is often shaded from purplish red to a lighter shade, and there are always numerous small, pale spots. Usually considered the sweetest apple.
  • Mackintosh – also a Red apple, but usually with a greenish side, and red/green striping. Mildly tart.
  • Jonathan – the classic Red/Green "yin-yang" apple, distinguished by the best mix of sweet and tart, in my opinion.
  • Golden Delicious – the classic Yellow apple, always with small greener dots, and often a reddish blush on one side, depending on sun exposure. Sweet, but different than Red Delicious.
  • Jonagold – a more modern variety, Yellow with more Red than a Golden Delicious, and a tarter taste.
  • Fuji – looks like a Jonathan, perhaps more stripey, and tastes sweeter, but with a fine tart/sweet mix.
  • Stayman/Winesap – very similar to Mackintosh, both sweeter and tarter. The second-most-Red apple.
  • Granny Smith – solid green, with almost no mottling or variation. Very sweet, but has to be quite ripe (you have to smell it) or it is bland and sour. Very firm until totally overripe.
Not too bad a list for off-the-cuff, but only a tiny fraction of the 7,000 or 8,000 varieties known. And the best pie apple? Jonathan!

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