ARKANSAS “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or so the old saying goes.
While it may take more than an apple to keep you healthy, researchers are finding that trace chemicals in apples help protect against cancer. The combination of these nutritional compounds called “phytochemicals” give fresh produce its cancer-fighting properties.
Apples of all varieties offer the same nutrition, but differ widely in appearance, flesh characteristics, season availability, and suitability for different uses, says Carla Haley, Miller County extension agent with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
Varieties can be found in local supermarkets, at roadside stands and farmers’ markets. Here are some varieties that apple aficionados may have heard of but never knew how to use.
Arkansas Black is aptly named, with a deep black-red glassy skin, and yellowish flesh. It is believed to originate in Benton County. It is sweet and tart, and it keeps well in cold storage.
Braeburn is crisp and aromatic, and blends sweetness and tartness - making it just right for snacks and salads, says Haley. It’s also good in baking, applesauce and for freezing. Braeburn colors vary from greenish-gold with red sections to nearly solid red.
Fuji’s spicy, crisp sweetness and firm flesh make it an excellent fresh eating apple. “It’s also good in baking and is a favorite for applesauce,” says Haley. Fuji apples store well and their flavor improves like fine wine. Fuji skin color varies from yellow-green with red highlights to very red.
Gala, a favorite for fresh eating, is crunchy, juicy and full of flavor. It is heart-shaped with distinctive yelloworange skin with red striping. It is an excellent choicefor snacking, works great in salads, and holds up well in baking and in applesauce.
Golden Delicious is great as a snack or lunchbox treat, with its firm, white flesh and sweet crisp flavor. It is the preferred all-purpose cooking apple since it retains its shape and rich, mellow flavor when baked or cooked. “Its skin is so tender and thin that it doesn’t require peeling for most recipes,” says Haley. Golden Delicious is very good in salads and freezes well.
Granny Smith apples are crisp and firm with a mouth-watering tartness. Bright green Granny Smith has a pink blush. It keeps its shape well when cooked, making it ideal for pies, salads and even fried pies.
Jonathan is the ideal all-purpose apple, sometimes referred to as the “old-time favorite,” says Haley. It is an excellent choice for snacking, cooking and baking. Its flavor is a unique blending of sweet and tart, and its appearance combines light red stripes over yellow or deep red in a round, firm package.
Red Delicious is perhaps the most popular apple. It is known for its sweet flavor, solid red color and uniform shape. It is primarily a fresh-eating apple and does well in salads because of its crisp texture.
Rome is the “baker’s buddy,” says Haley. It is ideal for baking because of its firm texture, mildly sweet taste and tendency to hold its shape. It makes flavorful sauces, pies, and baked apples, and its mild flavor grows richer when baked or sautéed. Rome apples have smooth, blazingly deep red skin with a cream-colored sweet, slightly juicy flesh.
Winesap is the apple with old-fashioned flavor. It has a spicy, almost wine-like flavor that’s great for cider. Violet red in color with white flesh and a crisp texture, it’s great as a snack and in salads. “It makes an excellent accompaniment to cheese,” adds Haley.
For more information about apples and applerecipes, visit the University of Arkansas Extension’s Web site, www.uaex.edu, or contact your county extension agent for a free copy of Enjoy Arkansas’ Fresh.
The Cooperative Extension Service is a part of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
News, Pages 10 on 11/18/2009
Print Headline: Every apple has a flavor all its own