Discover 30 Different Types of Apples: Taste Profiles and Best Uses!

Written by Jennifer Hollohan
Updated: August 17, 2023
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One of the most common sights in any grocery store’s produce section is piles and piles of apples. However, most stores only carry a small selection of this flavorful fruit, so you may not realize how many there are in the world! There are over 7,500 apple varieties worldwide, with 2,500 of them represented in the United States. And out of all those, only 100 varieties get grown for commercial sale in your local grocery store. So there is a whole wide world waiting to get explored at your local orchard or farmstand. Here are just 30 types of apples to get you started.

1. Ambrosia Apples

This mid-season variety requires plenty of sun and cool nights to develop its distinctive flavor. When you bite into one, you get rewarded with a sweet taste akin to honey. They are also lower in acidity, making it easy to eat plenty! Ambrosias are yellow and red and begin ripening in early September.

Organic Ambrosia apples at a farmers market

Ambrosia apples have a honey flavor!


2. Baldwin Apples

What can’t you do with this popular older apple variety? Baldwin apples may not sound familiar, but this variety is making a comeback. They are sweet and slightly spicy, making them ideal for crisps. However, you can also eat them raw, add them to savory dishes, or use them for cider. This variety is in peak season during October and November.

Baldwin heirloom apples hang on the branch in horizontal perspective

Baldwin apples are a heritage variety that is making a comeback.

©Greg Kushmerek/

3. Braeburn Apples

These delicious apples are native to New Zealand and store exceptionally well in colder areas. Braeburn apples look like gala apples on the outside but have a slightly firmer texture. Their flavor is sweet and tart. Growers love this apple since it has an extended season. You can expect to find them in produce sections starting in October and running through until April.

Sweet ripe braeburn apples ready to harvest in sunny orchard

Braeburn apples are firmer than Gala apples.


4. Cameo Apples

Most areas can expect Cameo apples in their store starting in late fall and lasting until spring. They are primarily yellow but do have some red splotches. Their dense flesh and citrusy flavor make for some exceptional eating.

Fresh Cameo apples, isolated on white background.

Cameo apples have a citrusy flavor.


5. Cortland Apples

The best way to eat this cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis is straight off the tree. Cortland is a hybrid with very crisp flesh that doesn’t last long after it gets harvested. So, enjoy their sweet and tart flavor quickly. They are in peak season through September and October.

A five pound basket of freshly picked cortland apples at a farmer's market.

Cortland apples need to get eaten quickly after harvest.


6. Empire Apples

Empire apples are a cross between a Red Delicious and McIntosh. They have a tart and sweet flavor, firm flesh, and a dark red color. This variety is in peak season during September and October. However, they store well and could last until spring.

closeup of Empire apples on a tree branch in an orchard on a sunny day outdoors. Fresh, juicy and organic produce growing with leaves in a sustainable fruit farm. Ripe and ready for harvest

Empire are juicy and full of flavor.

© – Yuri A/

7. Envy Apples

Envy fans, rejoice! This bright red fruit variety is available year-round. That is because it grows well all over the world, so there is a regular supply that gets shipped to our stores. It has firmer flesh and is slightly sweet, making it perfect for fresh eating or baking.

Raw Red Organic Envy Apples Ready to Eat

Envy apples are available all year long.

©Brent Hofacker/

8. Esopus Spitzenburg Apples

This variety has an unusual name and flavor. It grows prolifically at Monticello and stores very well. You may get floral hints when it first gets cut open, but that’s where the sweetness ends. Esopus Spitzenburg apples have a sharp, almost spicy flavor. They are great in a cobbler, made into cider, or included in dessert recipes.

9. Fuji Apples

Fujis are a common and popular apple, partly due to their milder flavor. They are bright red and come into the season during September and October. However, if you are a fan and have a cold storage room, they will keep it for a few months. Enjoy Fujis raw or as applesauce.

Closeup two fresh red fuji apple with green leaf and cut in half slice isolated on white background.

Fuji is one of the most popular varieties.


10. Gala Apples

Most people are used to seeing Gala in their grocery stores. That is because they grow across the world. They also keep well in cold storage, which extends their shelf-life. This apple variety is taller and skinnier than many others. They are light red and mild in flavor. Feel free to add them to any baked dish!

Gala apples over white background

Gala are delicious in baked dishes.


11. Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious are in peak season during September and October, though they keep well in cold storage for several months. They are very soft and thin-skinned. Expect a sweet and tender flavor when you bite into these yellow apples.

Golden delicious apple growing on the apple tree branch

Golden Delicious apples are very soft and thin-skinned.

©Shulevskyy Volodymyr/

12. Granny Smith Apples

Sometimes, your lips pucker just by thinking about the tartness of Granny Smith. However, their crisp skin and tart flavor are ideal for baking and savory dishes. They peak in September and October in the U.S. However, since they also grow in other regions, their availability gets extended through most of the year. 

Green apple tree with fruit

Granny Smith apples’ crisp skin and tart flavor are ideal for baking and savory dishes.


13. Gravenstein Apples

The Gravenstein variety is slightly hard to come by. However, keep your eyes peeled at local orchards between July and August, when they are in peak season. These tart apples are perfect for applesauce.

Gravenstein Apples ripening on the branch

Tart Gravenstein makes fantastic applesauce.

©Diane N. Ennis/

14. Hidden Rose Apples

Anyone who can get their hands on a Hidden Rose is in for a treat! They have unique blush-colored flesh and slight red-tinted yellow skin. These tart fruit are primarily available in October and November.

Hidden Rose Apples  -  pink apple inside! Whole and sliced apple isolated on a white background

Hidden Rose apples have pink flesh!


15. Holstein Apples

Another blush-colored apple is the Holstein. They have a lovely balance of sweet and tart when bitten into. While they aren’t common on grocery shelves, you may be able to find them at your local orchard or farm stand starting in September. They are typically available through the winter.

16. Honey Crisp Apples

Apple fans eagerly await Honey Crisp season every year, which happens from September through November. They are blush with some green tones. And they taste sweet, juicy, and tart. While they are in high demand, they also tend to cost a little more since their production is labor and time intensive. Honey Crisp apples are great for a range of culinary purposes.

Ripe red honeycrisp apples on an apple tree in an orchard in Nova Scotia.

Honey Crisp apples have a short, highly anticipated season.

©Julie Marshall/

17. Jazz Apples

Jazz apples are popular in part due to their dense flesh. They hold up well in storage and can survive the jostling in a lunch sack. This variety is sharp, sweet, and slightly acidic. They grow all over the world, so they are available in stores all year long.

fresh Dutch "Jazz" apples on a white background

Jazz apples have a sharp and sweet flavor.

©Peter Zijlstra/

18. Jonagold Apples

Jonagolds have lovely yellow skin with red patches. They are a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious. But they really highlight the tart flavor of a Jonathan apple. You can find this flavorful variety in stores starting in September and running through January.

Texture background of fresh jonagold apples. Image of fruit product big red apples

Jonagolds have a tart flavor.


19. Lady Alice Apples

These adorable fruits are smaller in size than many of their relatives. They also have a unique coloring, featuring red and yellow stripes. You can enjoy Lady Alice apple’s sweet and slightly tart flavor from October through May.

20. Liberty Apples

The Liberty variety is a lovely maroon color that tastes similar to a melon. They are only in season during September. But they store well for another five or six months. One of the most appealing aspects of Liberty apples is that they are resistant to a common apple disease.

Closeup of a group of red Liberty apples on a tree in an orchard or garden outside. Organic and sustainable fruit farming, produce growing. Ripe and ready for a fruitful agricultural harvest

The sweetness of Liberty apples is almost like eating a melon.

© – Yuri A/

21. Mutsu Apples

These slightly lopsided fruit look different than most varieties. But, if you can make it past the appearance, you will get rewarded with their sweet flavor (almost like honey) and a hint of tang. Mustu apples ripen in the fall. However, they store exceptionally well. So you can keep a stash around until spring!

Ontario Fancy Grade Semi-Sweet Mutsu Apples in Baskets at Farmers' Market

Mutsu have a slight red blush on their skin.

©Sax Lynn Francisco/

22. Opal Apples

The Opal variety is a bit of an interesting variety. They have an orange tinge to the skin, which is how you can differentiate them from Golden Delicious. They are sweet and tangy to eat and don’t brown. However, not many get grown annually. So once they are gone, they are gone. 

Raw Yellow Organic Opal Apples Ready to Eat

Opals look similar to Golden Delicious apples.

©Brent Hofacker/

23. Pacific Rose Apples

The beautiful Pacific Rose variety is large and has pink skin. They are in peak season from November through April, so try to get your hands on some. These sweet and crisp fruits are outstanding for raw eating or adding to a range of culinary dishes.

24. Pazazz Apples

Stop by a local orchard or farm stand in October to snag a bunch of Pazazz, but don’t eat them yet! They actually don’t reach their peak flavor until around January or February. At that point, they are mostly sweet with the slightest hint of tartness. Their skin is yellow with a hint of red.

25. Pinata Apples

Pinatas are another one that gets harvested in a short window (October) but have an extended shelf life. These lovely apples last through most of the year when properly stored. They have a sweet and crisp flavor that is reminiscent of tropical fruit. And they tend to maintain their color.

26. Pink Lady Apples

Despite their name, Pink Lady apples are more red than pink. Their tart and sweet flavor is exceptionally popular among apple lovers. But it isn’t easy to be called a Pink Lady. There are set standards for sugar content, acidity levels, and firmness. If an apple doesn’t meet those criteria, it doesn’t get the coveted name. Pink Lady apples are in peak season from October until June. 

pink lady apples isolated on white background

Pink lady apples are a favorite variety due to their sweet, slightly tart flavor.

©akepong srichaichana/

27. Red Delicious Apples

The most common lunchbox companion is the Red Delicious. Its mild flavor and typically tender flesh make it easy for younger apple fans to eat. They are distinguished by their taller top and more narrow base. Red Delicious apples get harvested in September (weather dependent) and stored for the year. 

red delicious apples

Red Delicious apples are very popular.

©MariuszBlach/ via Getty Images

28. Rubyfrost Apples

The Rubyfrost variety got developed by an apple breeding program. They are high in Vitamin C and very crispy. While this apple variety gets harvested in the fall, it doesn’t hit store shelves for a few months. The reason for that is they need some cold stratification to develop their distinctive sweet and tart flavor. 

29. Winesap Apples

If you want the perfect cider, hunt down some Winesaps. These get harvested at their peak in October but store well for five or six months. They have a not-unpleasant tart flavor, making them a great baking companion.

Hood River, Oregon, USA. A bin of Winesap apples for sale. Often known as Virginia Winesap, a tart small apple, and like many US heirloom varieties, keeps well in store.

The Winesap variety makes great cider or pie!

©Danita Delimont/

30. York Apples

York apples are slightly lopsided, giving them a unique appearance. They get harvested from October through February but keep well for months afterward. This variety is high in Vitamin C and has a sweet, slightly sharp flavor. 

Summary of 30 Different Types of Apples

ApplePeak HarvestFlavor
1. AmbrosiaSeptember and OctoberHoney
2. BaldwinOctober and NovemberSweet and spicy
3. BraeburnOctober through AprilSweet and tart
4. CameoLate fall into early springCitrusy
5. CortlandSeptember and OctoberSweet and tart
6. EmpireSeptember and OctoberTart and sweet
7. EnvyYear-roundSlightly sweet
8. Esopus SpitzenburgSeptember and OctoberSharp
9. FujiSeptember and OctoberMild
10. GalaMay through SeptemberMild
11. Golden DeliciousSeptember and OctoberSweet
12. Granny SmithSeptember and OctoberTart
13. GravensteinSweet like honey, with a bit of tangTart
14. Hidden RoseOctober and NovemberTart
15. HolsteinFall through winterSweet and tart
16. Honey CrispSeptember through NovemberSweet and tart
17. JazzYear-roundSharp and sweet
18. JonagoldSeptember through JanuaryTart
19. Lady AliceOctober through MaySweet and slightly tart
20. LibertySeptemberSweet like melon
21. MutsuLate fall into early winterSweet like honey, bit of tang
22. OpalNovember through JuneSweet and tangy
23. Pacific RoseNovember through AprilSweet
24. PazazzOctoberMostly sweet
25. PinataOctoberSweet like tropical fruit
26. Pink ladyOctober through JuneTart and sweet
27. Red DeliciousSeptemberMild
28. RubyfrostSeptember and OctoberSweet and tart
29. WinesapOctoberTart
30. YorkOctober through FebruarySweet and tart

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Foodio/

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About the Author

Jennifer Hollohan is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on gardening, mammals, and travel. Jennifer has over twenty years of writing experience. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, which she earned in 2005, and is a Herbalist. Jennifer lives in Colorado with her family. She loves hiking, admiring wildflowers, gardening, and making herbal tea.

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