Southern Apple Varieties

watercolor southern apple varieties botanical painting Anna Kay Artworks

Last fall, my family went on our first-ever apple-picking adventure, and we loved it so much that we've decided to make it a tradition! I can't wait for this year's iteration; in the meantime, I've been buying up every variety I can get at the farmers' market. I've even got Hal in on the apple obsession, and we've been loving them as snacks with nut butter (but he'll take a baked apple concoction any day!). 

When we went to the orchard, we encountered quite a few apple varietals I'd never heard of before. Here are a few that are popular (at Southern orchards, anyway!) and oh-so-scrumptious, as well as some of their flavors and uses!

Arkansas Black

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Red when picked, these slowly ripen into a deep purple; the darker, the softer - these guys start out like rocks. Because of their firmness, Arkansas Blacks are best for cooking (they don't turn to mush!).

McIntosh

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Bright red with green "brushstrokes," these apples have a bright flavor with a crisp crunch. Great for snack and for sweet or savory baking! (Personal note: these are the only apples I'll use to make my Dutch Apple Pie!)

Jonathan

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Red with yellow and green undertones, Jonathans are known for their crisp, juicy bites with just a hint of spice. Like the McIntosh, these are great for snacking, baking, and cooking. Gotta love an easy-going apple.

Winesap

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I'll admit the name first caught my attention, and these dark red apples really do have a wine-like flavor! Because they're such juicy apples, they're great for cider, applesauce, and preserves. (I also love them on a cheeseboard with a glass of mulled wine!)

Ginger Gold

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A yellow apple along the color of Golden Delicious, these have a similarly soft texture but don't brown easily. This, plus their deliciously gingery flavor, makes them perfect for serving on salads or cheeseboards or with dips. Great for cooking, too! (These are my very favorite apples!)

Hope you learned a thing or two to take to the next market or grocery store with ya!