Apples to Apples – A Comparison Taste Test

Do you know what your favorite apple variety is? With so many different varieties around the world, we sat down and did a taste test of 7 different varieties found in Western Canada.

Apple Basket

We looked at the apples on a few different scales, judging them in relation to each other based on their tartness, sweetness, juiciness and crunchiness. Here are our findings.

McIntosh

Macintosh

First discovered in the early 1800s, the McIntosh apple has become a North American icon, so much so that an Apple employee named the Macintosh line of computers after the fruit. The McIntosh has a red and green skin and white flesh inside. The apple was very tart and didn’t have much sweetness or juiciness in the flesh. The crunch of the apple seem to come mostly from the skin which was quite tough and difficult to chew and the texture of the apple is was somewhat mealy. It didn’t have a strong apple flavor.

Red Delicious

Red Delicious

For many in our office, Red Delicious apples are synonymous with Chinese New Year and memories of mealy, dry apples. We were pleasantly surprised by this apple when eaten in season. We found it to be sweeter, crunchier and juicier than what we recalled. In comparison to the other apples we tasted, it ranked in the middle in all three categories. We found that it was not tart and its texture was not as mealy as the McIntosh. Fitting for name, the apple is a deep red color with a yellowy flesh that browns very quickly once cut. Despite its appealing color, the apple was very bland, especially when compared to other apple varieties.

Fuji

Fuji

Fuji apples are yellowy-green, with pink-red highlights. Inside, the flesh is a dull white color which browns easily when exposed to air and is very dense. They have a long shelf life compared to other apple varieties. Fuji apples have a satisfying crunch and juiciness to them. They are fairly sweet with only a slight tartness to the flesh. Overall, they have a pleasant crunch, good texture and are very refreshing.

Gala

Gala

Gala apples are one of the most well-known apple varieties and can be found all over the world. Because they can be grown in both hemispheres, you can find these apples year round. We found the apple to be middle of the range when it comes to sweetness, juiciness and crunchiness and there was no tartness in the apples. The flesh is slightly yellow and browned more easily compared to the Ambrosia. The overall texture of the apple was slightly mealy and reminded us of the Red Delicious. Overall, the Gala has a very rounded apple flavor. If you’re looking for a reliable, sweet apple, then Galas are the way to go.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia

The Ambrosia apple has a luminous red and yellow outer skin. Its flesh is white and doesn’t brown easily, making it a great apple for fruit salads. We found the apple to be very floral. Biting into the apple, the skin is easy to chew and the inside flesh has a nice crisp to it. The apple was very sweet, and full of juice. There was no tartness at all. Found primarily in Western Canada, they are in season from early October to April.

Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp 2

Some call it a designer apple made from the very best of the apple world, the Honeycrisp was developed by the University of Minnesota specifically for growers in cold climates. The apple has a combination of tartness, sweetness, juiciness and crunch, ranking high in all categories in our taste test. The crunchiness is accentuated by the light and airy feel of the flesh. The Honeycrisp has grown in popularity through its life as more and more people have fallen for its crunch. On the outside, the apple is a mottled red and green color and the inside flesh is a pale white that doesn’t brown very easily.

Granny Smith

Granny Smith

The all green Granny Smith apple is instantly recognizable on all supermarket shelves. This apple is very acidic and tart, which makes it difficult to enjoy on its own. It has a good crunch and is fairly juicy. There is no sweetness at all in the apple. The dense flesh on the inside is a very pale white which doesn’t brown as quickly as other apples.

Want it in one handy dandy chart? We ranked each apple on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the least and 10 being the most:

Apple Infograph Large

Conclusion

When selecting an apple purely to eat as a snack, our favorite ones were the Ambrosia and the Honeycrisp. The Ambrosia’s small size plus its juicy and sweet flesh, makes it an easy choice to bring as a snack for school or work. Based purely on flavor, the Honeycrisp has the perfect combination of tart and sweet. It is very refreshing. Avoid the Granny Smith as an apple for snacking as it is extremely tart. It would work better when baked into pies and galettes or sliced into a fruit salad.

What is your favorite apple variety?

5 Comments

  1. Deborah Carpenter
    April 24, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

    I just discovered the Honeycrisp. WOW! This is now my favorite. Very crunchy & sweet.

  2. Craig Dean
    May 15, 2015 @ 10:11 pm

    Honeycrisp are definitely my apple of choice. All of my friends always switch to honeycrisp as their favorite after I introduce them to the perfectly balanced taste! There’s something irresistible about that sweet and tart crunch that makes them addicting. Although, I actually prefer granny smith as a second choice, seeing as tartness is a quality I highly desire in apples.

  3. Harry
    August 27, 2015 @ 9:40 am

    Each Apple has its unique end use. You be best off to use end use for your selection criteria

  4. Frankie D
    January 30, 2016 @ 4:40 pm

    I’ve been searching for ambrosia apples since reading this last month. I prefer a sweet, nit so tart, crisk apple. I’m a Fuji and Honeycrisp fan (although, the Honeycrisp I’ve found can be quite tart at times) Today I finally found ambrosia apples and can’t wait to try one. (Gotta chill it 1st). Great informative article.

  5. kyypiggy
    March 10, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

    I like granny smith as it is my ideal type of fruit

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