The mildly sweet Red Delicious apple is a "classic -- America's favorite snacking apple," says the Washington Apple Commission's web site.
It's got lots of company. There are 7,500 apple varieties grown worldwide, says the University of Illinois Extension's web site. A medium apple has about 80 calories and 5 grams of fiber; Americans eat nearly 20 pounds of fresh apples (about 65 apples) per year, says the university.
Red Delicious apples may be antioxidant heavyweights, but your taste buds might appreciate a little variety. Here's a look at the Washington Apple Commission's guide to other apples:
- Golden Delicious: Mellow and sweet
- Gala: Crisp, snappy, aromatically sweet
- Fuji: Immensely flavorful, crisp, big, super sweet; originally from Japan
- Granny Smith: Extremely tart, juicy, crisp; often used in pies
- Braeburn: Rich, sweet-tart, spicy flavor; very firm
- Jonagold: Juicy, orange-tinted, delicate flavor
- Pink Lady: Unique tangy-tart, sweet flavor
- Cameo: Sweet with a zingy crunch
Some varieties -- like Granny Smith, Jonagold, and Pink Lady -- are favorites in pies, and all of them make good salad ingredients (as well as snacks), says the commission.
Building a Better Apple?
Two polyphenols -- procyanidin B2 and epicatechin -- were the most important individual antioxidants in apples, according to the study.
Quercetin -- the antioxidant from last November's rat Alzheimer's study -- wasn't a top-ranked apple component. Red onions are a better source of quercetin.
Tsao's findings could lead to the breeding of hybrid apples that maximize antioxidants, says the news release. Of course, taste will always be important.