What are the different types of apples? An apple is a round fruit, often with green or reddish or yellowish skins and crisp, white flesh. It is a member of the rose family Domesticated apples were cultivated from wild types in Asia and to date, there are more than 7,500 apple cultivars. In the USA, the only native apple variety was the crabapple, which was a wild variety that has been used as a rootstock for other apple varieties and also as a pollinizer in orchards.
The Apple is the state fruit of more than five USA states. Global apple production is dominated by China, with the USA coming a distant second. These numerous types of apples can be divided into three broad categories based on how they are primarily consumed. These categories are cooking apples, dessert apples and cider apples. These categories are fluid as the apples can be used in more than one way.
Types of Apples: Cider Apples
Cider apples are used to make cider, which in the British English context means an alcoholic apple drink and in the North American context means a non-alcoholic drink (the alcoholic version here is called hard cider). Cider apples are divided into 4 groups based on the concentrations of tannins and acidity:
Sweet, which have the lowest levels of both and are used to blend stronger ciders. Sweet Coppin and Court Royal are examples of this variety.
Bittersweet, which have a high amount of tannins and a low amount of acid. Examples for this variety are the Yarlington Mill, Tremlett’s Bitter and Dabinett.
Sharp, which are predominantly acidic. Examples include Brown’s Apple and Crimson King.
Bittersharp, which has equally high levels of tannin and acid, such as Stoke Red.
As is apparent, this subgrouping of the cider types of apples is largely for the British varieties. Notable cider apples from USA include Yates, Hewe’s Crab, Harrison, Newton Pippin, Wickson Crab and Campfield.
Types of Apples: Cooking apples
These types of apples were predominantly used as ingredients in dishes. They can be baked, stuffed into meats, or glazed over with syrup. Apple pie is an iconic meal made from cooked apples. The British Bramley is most renowned of all types of cooking apples. Other cooking apples include Calville Blanc d’Hiver, from France, Golden Noble,Flower of Kent, York Imperial, Stayman Winesap, Roxbury Russet, Northern Spy, Newton Pippin, Rome and many others.
Types of Apples: Dessert Apples
Dessert/ table apples can be consumed raw. Most desert apples can also be in cooking and cider making though there may be marked differences in the quality of the finished product, especially ciders.The examples here are numerous, and include, but are not limited to Red Delicious, Gala, Adanac, Allington Pippin, Ambrosia, Ginger Gold, Paula Red, Jonagold and Fuji.
Apples can also be classified according to the ancestry, because most of the cultivars are famous heirlooms. In this regard, there can be McIntosh derived cultivars, or Granny Smith derived cultivars Other heirlooms which can be used to classify apples include Cox Orange pippin, Alexander and Arkansas Black, Golden Delicious etc.