The first step in selecting the perfect apple is to know what flavor profile you enjoy. Do you like sweet? Tart? Spicy? Subtle? A combo of flavors? No matter your preference, there’s an apple for that! Once you’ve decided on which flavor suits your fancy, follow these tips to find your perfect apple and you should end up with a crisp, juicy and flavorful apple every time.
Check the apple’s firmness: Pick up the apple and gently press a small area of the fruit’s skin. It should be firm to the touch. Avoid apples that are noticeably soft, discolored, or indent easily after you press the skin.
Visually examine the apple: As you check firmness, turn the apple completely in your hand to visually check for quality. Some marking on the fruit (like a scuff or specks) comes from nature and doesn’t signal a bad apple. However, apples with bruising or obvious signs of decay should be avoided.
Get to know your varieties: With so many apple varieties available today (and more coming to market all the time), you’ll want to get to know the characteristics of your favorites, including their color, size, shape, and overall appearance. You’ll quickly learn which apples are best for baking (Golden Delicious, Rome) and which are better for fresh eating (Fuji, Honeycrisp). There are also versatile apples that are great no matter how you plan to enjoy them (like Piñata®, Granny Smith, and Pink Lady apples). Selecting an apple that best fits its intended use is essential in having a great apple eating experience!
Glance at the color of the apple: Although color is not the best indicator of a great eating apple, it can be helpful when selecting this fruit. For red varietal apples, look for the green background to be covered mostly by red or pink-orange hues. Apples with full color have absorbed lots of sunlight which leads to great flavors.
Give your apple a sniff: A fresh, high-quality apple should have a pleasant aroma. This will vary by variety with some apples (like Gala) having a stronger fragrance than others.
Make sure it’s a Stemilt apple: Stemilt is a family-owned company that works hard each and every day to deliver the best apples to your stores. “Look for the ladybug” on the sticker of your apples when you shop; the ladybug is a symbol that the apple you are enjoying is from Stemilt’s Washington State orchards! Also, if you shop for organic apples, ours are available as Stemilt Artisan Organics, and you’ll know your apple is organic by that brand and looking for the leading 9 in front of the four-digit PLU code on the apple’s sticker.