January 3, 2024
As the old adage goes: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But aside from their plentiful health benefits, apples are a cornerstone of culinary tradition and a household favourite for many. Whether you’re baking, snacking, or creating savoury dishes, having an understanding of the many types of apples available in your Calgary grocery stores will elevate your experience. Let’s explore the unique characteristics of the varieties we offer at Calgary Co-op’s produce department.
In the world of baking, apples are a well-loved ingredient for their versatility and the unique flavours they bring to baked goods. But different types of apples offer distinct textures and taste profiles, so it’s good to do your research first.
Granny Smith apples are distinctly tart with a bright, crisp acidity. Because their firm texture withstands high baking temperatures without becoming mushy, they offer a nice contrast to sweet, rich fillings in pies and tarts, apple crisps and crumbles, and even as a zesty add to cakes and muffins.
Macintosh apples are tangy and slightly sweet with a hint of spice. They soften quite a bit when baked, which is great for fillings where a smoother texture is desired, like in pies and galettes. They’re also a top choice for apple sauces and butters because of the way their tender flesh breaks down easily.
Fuji apples are quite sweet with a hint of honey and citrus. Because of their firm texture and sweetness they’re suitable for a wide range of baked goods, from pies to turnovers, apple bread to muffins, and layered desserts like tarts or strudels.
Apples are a great addition to nearly any salad, offering a nice contrast of flavours and textures. Their natural sweetness and crispness can elevate a simple salad to something that looks and tastes chef made.
Pink Lady apples are a favourite for salads, thanks to their unique sweet-tart flavour and crisp texture. Their tartness balances well with rich salad dressings, while their sweetness complements greens, nuts, and cheese.
Jazz apples add a bright touch to salads with their crisp texture and sweet-acidic balance. Their tangy undertone paired with a honey-like sweetness enhances the flavour of green and fruit salads. Firm and flavourful, they contribute a refreshing crunch your tastebuds will love.
Envy apples, known for their dense, juicy quality, bring a smooth and sweet crunch to salads. Their rich flavour pairs well with a variety of salad ingredients, both sweet and savoury. Because they’re firm and slow to brown, they’re ideal for maintaining texture and freshness.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to energise your day or a wholesome treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, apples are a healthy go-to. Because of their shared sweetness and juicy, crisp texture, the best types of apples for day-to-day snacking include:
There’s a few outliers that are just generally great for all types of tasty treats, from fresh snacking to cooking and beyond. Those apples include Ambrosia, Red Delicious Apples and Spartan varieties. Ambrosia are sweet and low in acidity, making them great for kids and fruit salads. Spartans are slightly tart and crisp, so they’re ideal for cooking or eating fresh.
Most apples benefit from refrigeration, particularly in the crisper drawer, to maintain their crispness and flavour. For short-term storage, a cool countertop away from direct sunlight is sufficient. Remember to store apples separately from other produce to prevent premature ripening.
Next time you’re in your local Calgary Co-op, let this guide inspire you to explore the wide range of apple varieties we offer. From the sweet crunch of a SugarBee to the tartness of a Granny Smith, there’s an apple to suit every taste and culinary occasion. See you in store!