How to Choose Apples

1 Check for firmness.
Press the apples lightly to make sure they're firm.

2Look at the skin.
Pay attention to the color, regardless of the type of apple. It should be bright, relatively even and clear with smooth, unblemished skin.

3Give it a whiff.
Check for a fresh rather than a musty smell.

4Try a new variety.
Investigate different apple varieties. Even supermarkets are starting to keep more than just Red and Gold Delicious, which, although they keep well, are rather bland-tasting. Good, sweet eating apples include Fuji, Gala and Jonagold. Good eaters with a tart edge include Winesap, Northern Spy, Jonathan and Russet. McIntosh apples fall apart quickly when cooked; they're great for applesauce, but not good for pie. Green apples are usually tart. Granny Smiths and Pippins are two common green apples. Tart apples are often used for pies.

5Buy in season.
Buy more apples in the fall, when they are harvested. Go to a local farmer's market. Local apples will always be tastier than apples stored for months and brought in from far away, and you might find some interesting new types.

6Store apples properly.
Apples should be stored in a cool place.

How to Choose Apples

Many modern apples are grown for color, rather than taste, another reason why local apples from small producers are a better bet.

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