Apple Buyer's Guide
How to choose the best apples for cooking and eating.
Northern Spy: This red-, gold- and green-striped apple has a limited availability in the U.S.—while growing, the fruit is fragile and susceptible to several common afflictions. A Northern Spy tree may take up to 14 years to bear fruit, so it is frequently grafted onto other apple trees to encourage growth. It’s worth the wait, though—this apple is tart and juicy-crisp, with finely textured flesh that holds its shape well, perfect for pie and other baking uses.
Paula Red: This early-ripening variation of the McIntosh is soft and nicely balanced between sweet and tart, cooking down perfectly into sauces. Its dusty red skin with gold and tan spots yields to tender, slightly mealy white flesh with a flavor evocative of strawberries.