The World's Most Common Types of Apples

The Red Delicious apple is the most common variety around the world.
The Red Delicious apple is the most common variety around the world.

The apple fruit is one of the most popular fruits in the world, and it is thought to have originated from Central Asia. The tree spread throughout Asia and Europe, and it was later taken to North America by colonialists. The apple fruit has a sweet, crisp taste. It is used in a variety of dishes such as pies, sauce, cider, salads, and pastries. There are over 7,500 apple tree varieties worldwide. The most common apple varieties in the world are the Red Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden delicious, Lady, Baldwin, McIntosh, Honey crisp, Fuji, and Cortland.

10. Red Delicious

The Red Delicious apple variety is the most common variety around the world. Jesse Hiatt discovered it in his farm in Iowa in 1880. During a competition in 1893 by a Missouri based nursery to find a replacement for “Ben Davis,” a popular but bland apple variety, Jesse Hiatt submitted his sample. At the time it was referred to as the "Hawkeye." The “Hawkeye” Apple won the competition, and its name changed to “Stark Delicious,” named after the Stark Brothers who owned the nursery. In 1914, the Stark Brothers’ Nursery renamed it the “Red Delicious” apple. In the early 20th century, Red Delicious apples were the most popular in the US. In recent years, the fruit has encountered competition from other new varieties such as Gala and Fuji. It is heart-shaped, and its skin is bright red with tiny gold strips.

9. Gala

The Gala apple is originally from New Zealand. It was developed in 1930 by crossing the Kidd's Orange Red apple and the Golden Delicious apple.It is an apple variety that is growing in popularity particularly in the United States. Gala apples are produced commercially. The apples have a golden skin with orange and pink stripes. Gala apples are crispy and very sweet. They are used in making sauces, salads, pies, desserts, and often eaten raw.

8. Golden Delicious

The golden delicious apple was discovered on a family farm in West Virginia at the start of the 20th century. It is possibly a blend of Grimes Golden apple and Golden Reinette apple. The Stark Brothers’ Nursery began producing golden delicious apples commercially in 1916. The apples were marketed alongside the red delicious apples. They have yellowish green thin skin and a delicious sweet taste. The apples are very delicate and require extra care while handling them. Golden Delicious apples are often used to bake, in salads, and in making the sauce. Since 1995, the Golden Delicious apple is West Virginia’s official fruit. Clay County, where the Golden Delicious was discovered, holds an annual festival in honor of the fruit.

7. Granny Smith

Granny Smith apples were first discovered in 1868 in an Australian farm by a farmer known as Maria Ann Smith. Their popularity grew in the early 20th century due to their long shelf life. The apples could be transported over long distances with ease. They are light green and have a tart and crunchy taste. They are mainly eaten raw but are also ideal for baking apple pies, cakes, and apple crumble. They are very popular especially in the export market because they remain fresh for long periods.

6. Lady

The Lady apple also referred to as “Pomme d'Api” or “Christmas apple” originated from France. This apple variety was discovered in 1628, and was introduced to North America in 1800. It is small compared to other apple varieties. Its skin is satin-like lime green in color. Lady apples are often used in making chutneys, stuffings, pies, and pastries. Due to their small size, these apples are also commonly used in decorating Christmas trees and wreaths during holiday seasons.

5. Baldwin

The Baldwin apple was discovered in the 18th century in Massachusetts US. Baldwin apples were once popularly used in the US, but after a frigid winter in 1934, most of Baldwin apple trees were destroyed, and their popularity waned. The apples are hard and bright red. Their hard texture makes them suitable for baking. They are also ideal for making apple cider vinegar. Currently, Baldwin apples are quite rare in markets as Red Delicious apples replaced them.

4. McIntosh

John McIntosh discovered McIntosh apple in Canada in 1811. It is commonly used in Canada and the northeastern US where it is eaten raw as well as in cooked food. McIntosh apple is tender, and its skin has a red color. Although it was the leading apple variety in Canada in the 60s, it currently faces stiff competition from foreign apple imports such as Gala. The world famous Macintosh Personal Computers are named after the McIntosh apple. It is also recognized as Canada’s national apple.

3. Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp apple was developed at the University of Minnesota and released to the market in 1991. As the name indicates, they are sweet and juicy with a crispy texture. Honeycrisp apples are highly-prized fruits that are commercially produced. They stay fresh for long hence their popularity. The apples are often used as a snack, in salads, pies, and sauces. Honeycrisp apple is the official state fruit in Minnesota.

2. Fuji

The Fuji apple was developed in Japan in 1930. It derived its name from the Japanese town where it was developed. It is a cross between Virginia Ralls Genet and Red Delicious apples. It is one of the most common apple varieties in Japan, China, and the US. Fuji apple is commercially produced in Asia and the US. It is loved for its relatively large size, firm texture, crispy flesh and sweet taste. Fuji apple is often used in salads, pies, and apple crumble.

1. Cortland

The Cortland apple is a hybrid of McIntosh apple and another apple variety. It has its origins in 1898 at the Agricultural Experiment Station in New York. The apple is one of United States’ most popular apple varieties. The Cortland apple is grown for commercial purposes. The apple is round, and its skin is bright red with a yellow backdrop.It is the only apple variety whose white flesh does not turn brown. This characteristic makes it suitable for desserts and salads.


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