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4 Types of Apples Best for Picking

By Brock on July 22, 2021

Everyone has seen apples in grocery stores, such as honeycrisp, cosmic crisp, ambrosia and jonagold. You may be wondering, where do these apples come from, and which ones are best for picking? In this article, we will be discussing the 4 types of Apples Best for Picking this season and some of their key features. All of these apples will be available for harvest this fall at Swans Trail Farms, so don’t miss out on our u-pick apples!

1. HONEYCRISP

Released in 1991, one of the most popular types of apples are honeycrisp apples. This apple has a yellow background with a red blush on top. The flesh of the apple is a creamy white that is exceptionally crisp.

Honeycrisp apples were originally grown in Minnesota and are also the official state fruit. These apples can actually flourish in both warm and cool climates, so they are grown in other states such as Wisconsin, California and Washington. These apples also have great nutritional value. Containing only about 80 calories, honeycrisp apples are perfect for a lightweight snack and are rich in dietary fiber.

Honeycrisp apple harvesting season is September through May, depending on the region. They are known for their juicy, sweet taste and are typically used for baking. The honeycrisp apple also pairs nicely with cheese or can be placed atop a salad. Due to its sweet taste, many opt to eat the honeycrisp apple on its own. 

Honeycrisp apples are very popular for picking at Swans Trail Farms. More information will be provided below about our u-pick offer and upcoming festivals.

2. COSMIC CRISP

Another popular choice is the comic crisp apple, which has been in development for over 20 years. Similar to the honeycrisp apple, the comic crisp apple is known for its sweet and firm texture. The reason they are called cosmic crisp is because of the white lenticels that cover the skin, which resemble stars against a red sky. These apples are praised for being slow to brown when cut, while still maintaining its delicious flavor and texture.

Comic Crisp is actually trademarked by Washington State University and is available for any Washington state apple grower to produce. The university grows the trees and sells them to growers in the state. Comic crisp apples are harvested until mid-October and shipped out in the beginning of December, so they are ready just in time for the holidays. But what if you want some of these delicious apples before then? Worry not! Millions of comic crisp trees have been planted in the state of Washington so they can be harvested. 

These are also considered some of the best apples for baking. There are many recipes out there, but some of the most popular ones include comic crisp apple relish, apple-cherry pie, spiced burgers, apple lemon agua fresca and center cut apple burgers. Because of their slow browning properties, comic crisp apples are a popular choice for salads. They can be found in many local grocery stores such as Ballard Farmers Market or PCC Community Markets. However, if you’re looking for a more fresh option, head over to Swans Trail Farms!

3. AMBROSIA

Similar to the other types of apples, ambrosia apples also have a crisp texture and a sweet honey-like flavor. Ambrosia apples are more difficult to pick because they require a discerning eye and gentle touch. When picking these, you should look for a full red face and glossy finish. Unlike some of the other types of apples, the ambrosia originated in Canada– British Columbia, to be exact.

Ambrosia apples have been proven to be a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and like the other apples, contain vitamins A and C. These apples last a long time, so they can be found in grocery stores year-round. However, they’re usually in season between September and January. 

Ambrosia apples are harvested around mid-September. Like the cosmic crisp apple, ambrosia apples are great to bake and cook with because they compliment both sweet and savory dishes. Some examples of recipes that can be made with these are baked apples, granola bars, apple cake, scrambled eggs, breakfast bowls and even pizza. There are also a variety of dips that go well with ambrosia apples, like caramel, peanut butter and yogurt, maple cinnamon whipped cream and more. 

4. JONAGOLD

First appearing in New York in 1953, the jonagold apple is a cross between golden delicious and the Jonathon. It tends to be large in size with a tangy-sweet flavor. These apples can be colored differently, with some being a greenish yellow and others being more orange. The flesh of the apple is a creamy yellow color. Jonagold apples actually come in over seventy different strains, each with a slightly different color, size or taste.

Jonagold apples only thrive in colder climates, so they were relatively unsuccessful when first created. However, these delicious apples are available for harvest in the starting early fall in many locations across Washington state due to the cool temperatures. These apples have good nutritional value because they are cholesterol free and offer a small amount of vitamins A and C. They also carry protein and potassium which both come with various health benefits. 

The jonagold apple is known to have a sweet-tart flavor, making it perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. These apples are great for pies, tarts, muffins and cakes, and can even be baked on their own because they taste so good! Their flavor also complements pork, root vegetables or sandwiches. The flavor of this apple goes well with nearly anything.

U-PICK APPLES

If any of these types of apples sound good to you, you’re in luck! At Swans Trail Farms, we offer u-pick apples, meaning you can come to our farm and harvest apples of your choice. Our Honeycrisp Apple Festival will be taking place September 18-19th and September 25-26th this year. We will be offering food, a tasty cider mill, apples, a hay maze, tractor pulls, a petting farm and more! Our u-pick apples will remain open the rest of the season while supplies last. To book a ticket to our farm, visit this link. Happy harvesting!