How Many Types of Apples Are There? And Which Is Best?
Here’s a look at how many types of apples exist and which ones are most popular—plus, some other interesting facts about apples.
If you love apples as much as we do, you’ll be interested in taking a closer look at America’s most consumed fruit. Here are a few interesting facts about apples:
How many types of apples exist?
You’re not going to see this many kinds of apples in the grocery store, but there are 7,500 varieties of apples in existence throughout the world—2,500 of which are grown in the United States.
But, where did all of them come from? Back in the 1980s, top apple producers in the United States were heavily focused on growing Red and Golden delicious apples. This is when Washington State University horticulturist, Bruce Barritt, recommended creating new types of apples. Since then, we’ve seen more types of apples on the market.
What’s the most popular apple?
Drumroll, please. The most grown apple variety is the Red Delicious. It was introduced in the 1880s in Iowa and is well-known for being bright red, crunchy, and mildly sweet. Though it has faced its fair share of critics, the Red Delicious has remained steady in popularity. It’s predicted, however, that the Gala may soon take hold of the number one spot, Red Delicious will move to second, and Granny Smith will take third place.
Related: Which Apple Is the Healthiest for You?
Are there any new kinds of apples?
You’ve probably eaten your fair share of Galas and Fujis, but there are other apples to behold. Here are some other known and lesser known varieties (including proprietary apples):
- Honeycrisp – originated in Minnesota and known for being crisp and sweet
- Cripps Pink vc. – originated in Australia and liked for its tart flavor
- Ambrosia – straight from British Columbia with sweetness similar to a pear
- Smitten – cultivated in New Zealand, this is a great snack to have on its own
And brand new to the market: Cosmic Crisp. It’s a hybrid of a Honeycrisp and an Enterprise apple. More than 20 years in the making, the Cosmic Crisp was first created by Barritt in 1997 and it’s been busy growing and maturing ever since. It’s thought to be crunchy, juicy, and extremely sweet.
So, which one’s best?
It may depend how you’re using the apple, whether for snacking, baking apple pies, making applesauce, or adding to salads. Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples are known for being versatile enough for all these uses. But if you’re looking for an apple to snack on, Galas, Pink Ladies, and Honeycrisps seem to be favorites.
And just how fresh are apples at the store?
When apples are picked in an orchard, they’re placed in bushels then washed, sized, sorted, and packed the same day. Then they’re moved to refrigerated storage. To retain freshness, the apples are moved from storage to retail store shelves within a few days or less. Needless to say, the apples you purchase at the store are pretty fresh.
Related: Clean Eating Apple Pie Oatmeal