apple varieties in NC
Varieties Commonly Grown in North Carolina
(Courtesy of NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services)
Choose your Flavor
There is an apple variety for every taste and use. Some are sweet, some tart but all are more crisp and tart when they are fresh from the tree. As they ripen they become softer and sweeter because of the formation of natural sugars. The outstanding qualities and uses of the varieties which make up the bulk of NC’s production are listed below.
- Red Delicious is the world’s most widely planted apple. It has a thin bright red skin with a mildly flavored fine-grained white flesh. Excellent for eating fresh as a snack or in salads.
- Rome Beauty is the ultimate baking and cooking apple and yet it is also good for fresh eating. It is a very smooth red apple with a slightly juicy flesh. The flavor of this variety grows richer when baked in your favorite recipe.
- Golden Delicious is an apple with firm white flesh which retains its shape and rich mellow flavor when baked or cooked. The skin is so tender that it does not require peeling for most recipes. This apple is one that will stay white longer when cut and therefore is great for salads.
- Stayman apples have a juicy cream-colored to yellowish flesh with a tart wine-like flavor. They hold up well in storage and are often used as cooking and cider apples as well for fresh snacks.
- Granny Smith apples have a mouthwatering tartness. They are distinguished by a bright green appearance, crisp bite and sour apple flavor. Flavor is pronounced when baked and the texture is known for holding up well.
- Gala apples are usually medium to smaller in size with a distinctive red and yellow striped heart-shaped appearance. They have a noticeably sweet flavor and aroma and are excellent for kids as a snack.
- Jonagold is a large newer variety with a rich full tangy sweet flavor. The color is an attractive orange-red with light striping over a yellow background. It is juicy and crunchy and is becoming one of the world’s most preferred eating apples.
- Gingergold is a medium to large early maturing apple with a cream-colored flesh and mildly sweet flavor. Appearance is similar to a Golden Delicious with an orange blush.
- Fuji is a newer variety apple with exceptionally sweet flavor. It is becoming a favorite for both fresh eating and desserts. The appearance of this apple is yellow-green with red highlights but people recognize it not for the way it looks but how it tastes. Known for holding up well in storage.
- Crispin/Mutsu apples are light green to yellowish white in appearance. This juicy apple has a sweet, rich, full flavor. Its texture is firm and very dense. Crunchier and tarter than Golden Delicious.
- Goldrush apples have a unique rich spicy flavor with a firm texture. These apples hold up very well in storage.
- Honeycrisp apples are exceptionally crisp and juicy with a well-balanced flavor and good storage life.
- Empire is a McIntosh type apple with longer shelf life and better color and flavor. Aromatic and crisp with creamy white juicy flesh.
- Pink Lady is one of the newest apples on the market with a crisp sweet/tart flavor. This is a very attractive medium sized apple with a pink blush over yellow undertone.