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dear joan,
Help! I went apple picking last weekend, and I have bushels of them. Which apples are the best for snacking, baking, and cooking?

--picking through the apples

dear picking through the apples,

Considering that there are 2,500 varieties of apples to choose from, I can see your dilemma. In general, Cortlands, Empire, Gala, and McIntosh apples are all shoo-ins when you want a crisp snack or sweet addition to a salad. When you're baking or cooking, look for those beauties that can stand the heat, such as Rome, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith varieties.

To help you sort through your pickin's, here's an apple lover's guide.

Variety Great For
Cortland Snacks, salads, baking
Empire Snacks, salads
Fuji All-purpose
Gala Snacks, salads
Golden Delicious All-purpose
Granny Smith All-purpose
Gravenstein Snacks, salads, baking
Jonathan All-purpose
Macoun Snacks, salads, applesauce
McIntosh Snacks, salads
Red Delicious Snacks, salads
Stayman Snacks, salads, cooking
Winesap All-purpose
York Imperial Primarily baking, cooking

Source: US Apple Association

Have fun,


Updated: June 2005