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Whatever variety you choose, look for apples free of bruises and firm to the touch. Apples stored in the refrigerator will last up to 10 times longer than those left at room temperature. But, it's often a good idea to let cooking apples mellow on the counter for a day or two before using.
Apples emit ethylene, a naturally-occurring gas that promotes ripening, so keep them away from other produce by giving them a crisper drawer of their very own or store them in a plastic bag.
It's true that "one rotten apple spoils the whole bunch," so check your stored apples often and discard any that are showing signs of decay.
Not sure what variety of apple to choose? Let the following chart help you decide.
|Braeburn||Yellow with red stripes or blush||Blend of tart and sweet. Crisp and juice||Excellent eaten fresh.|
|Fuji||Red blush with green and yellow stripes||Sweet, mild, crisp and juicy.||Excellent eaten fresh. Also fine for cooking.|
|Gala||Red-orange with yellow stripes||Sweet, aromatic, rich full flavor.||Best eaten fresh or in salads.|
|Golden Delicious||Yellow-green, sometimes with pink blush.||Rich, mellow flavor and tender skin.||Considered "all–purpose" apple. Retains shape and taste when cooked. Excellent eaten fresh in salads.|
|Granny Smith||Green, sometimes with pink blush||Tart and crisp||Excellent fresh and for salads. Tangy flavor comes through when baked or sautéed.|
|Jonagold||Bright red and gold||Outstanding sweet–tart flavor||Excellent fresh or for salads. Also fine for cooking and baking.|
|Pink Lady||Red withh green blush||Sweet-tart||Excellent fresh. Becomes sweeter with storage|
|Red Delicious||Striped to solid red||Sweet||Favored for snacking apple. Great fresh, in salads, and as garnish|